*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
September 18, 2018, 07:53:21 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 50 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: 1 [2]
Print
Author Topic: [Dragon Scroll] An introduction to the new game  (Read 3298 times)
Callan S.
Member

Posts: 3588


WWW
« Reply #15 on: October 08, 2009, 07:39:45 PM »

Hi,
Quote
The "leveling-up" process is a carrot to lead the party in the direction of grander adventures
Are the players supposed to enjoy getting more badass (leveing up)?

It wont be much good if they're in a grand adventures, but are really only there because they are interested in the carrots.
Logged

Philosopher Gamer
<meaning></meaning>
Morgan Coldsoul
Member

Posts: 22


« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2009, 10:44:43 AM »


So what's the role of the GM in this game?  Is he the creator of the stories the pc's play out or do the players choose what the story will be?  Can a player choose to be a villain character if the other players have chosen heros?  Does the game have a story line to follow or is it up to the gm to create it?

To be honest I dont think you need much help here.  It sounds like you have everything important worked out and it shouldnt take you much effort to come up with a name.  I'll be blunt though, what Ron said earlier rings true to me.  I dont see anything innovative in your game, nothing that couldnt be done with RQ as he mentions or Gurps or Hero, or a dozen other games, so what is going to make your game special?  Why would I want to play your game rather than one I already have?  Is it your background story, artwork, your system... etc.?

First, allow me to address the issue of innovation, which keeps coming up. What I consider to be innovative about Dragon Scroll is the combination of our new rules, the magic system, the way the races and classes interact, the background setting--all of it, not individually, but as a combination, a finished piece of art. I would say it is not only possible, but probably likely, that someone else has already created a setting or game in which many of the things we do have already been done. But then, hey, that's nothing new in and of itself. Ever since Tolkien, each new RPG has really only built on the original concept of Dungeons & Dragons; let's face it, that was the original, and it's true. This isn't to say each new game didn't bring something different to the table and advance the art, just that without D&D, we developers would be doing something massively different right now. But, as a whole, nobody has done what we have, just like no one else has ever exactly imitated RQ, Palladium, Deadlands, V:tM, or Anathema.

So, "innovation" is overrated, I believe, within the scope of inventing some new device or selling point for an RPG just to make it different. If you have a system that uses cards instead of dice, and it works really well, that's wonderful. Dragon Scroll doesn't; it just isn't friendly for the system. Putting the RP back in RPG is our goal, as developers, for the game, which is something that, frankly, I haven't seen a lot of in mass-market RPGs lately. So if innovation must be a requirement, then I'd say that revisiting an idea not seen in the marketplace for quite some time should cover it. Other developers on this site and elsewhere have the same goal, I believe; they may take a different tack, but the aspirations are there. Taking something that people already enjoy and giving it a new suit of clothes is good enough for us, if it brings a little adventure into the world.

If a definite innovation is required to sell it to the audience, then we'll say that, unlike many RPGs in which the characters move the storyline but aren't really central to it, in Dragon Scroll, the PCs are the story (hopefully this will answer your first question). The Narrator's job is to provide a framework--a tenuous goal or plot to get the characetrs started--and then react as the party advances. This "reactive storytelling" has been far more successful for us, and a lot more fun, in other games and settings than the standard emthod of guiding the players, however gently or subtly, in the direction you, as GM, want them to go. Now we're letting the players decide the story--the Children of Change, determining the course of history--and the Narrator facilitates the fun by coming up with villains, obstacles, consequences, et cetera based on gameplay so far.

As to the idea of heroes and villains, yes, players are free to choose an evil character if they wish, regardless of the rest of the party's actions. It's dull to assume that evil characters can't have friendships, loyalties, love, and so forth, even across the lines of morals and scruples, which is what many games reinforce. We think that makes it more interesting; a single evil character, embedded in a group of "heroes," could change the story completely at any point with an action counter to the party's intentions--a betrayal, a selfish theft or assassination, a word in the wrong ear, or whatever. In fact, we even encourage the notion of two different groups playing the same game, in separate sessions--one evil and one good. How different would it be to discover that the bad guys have been other players all along, instead of constructed NPCs? No wonder they seemed so different...

I've observed strange things happening with caps, as you may have; they make all values above them irrelevant. In other words, say you follow a level 3 quest with a level 4 quest. One person does a load of challenges competently, and another person does all the roleplaying you love. Each of them will reach level 3 at the end of the quest, and though the enthusiastic guy has enough xp to reach level 6 already, he must wait until the new quest is over to reach level 4. What do you do during the level 4 quest? Do you reduce the number of challenges to make his xp level meaningful? So only he has the xp to reach level 4 by the end of the quest? Or do you insure that there is a base level of playing that covers levelling up, making his bonus xp irrelevant?

[...]

Now that's another question, do you use lack of engagement to trigger further dis-empowerment? It seems an easy way to slide someone out of your game. Now to many people that might be a good thing, but I wonder whether it is better to combine a mix of adaption to the preferences of those at the table and honest complaint at someone being really picky.

On the other side, I think it's pretty valuable to make engagement a fundimental resource; if you value other people's contributions and work with them you go further. That's a great strength of Universalis, and I wonder whether there is some other way to implement it in this game, considering that the cap stops extra xp from mattering. Seen as it is about causing big changes, what if those who are most engaged get to effect the path of the story? Or would that be counter-productive to identification with the character?

Our challenge system is fluid; we believe that it's the job of a good Narrator to assess the strengths of his players and their character builds and to provide challenges that work for the entire group, even if they're at mixed levels. Ingenuity counts for more than spellcaster level or Vitality score; an example is the time I remember, in D&D, killing a red dragon with Tenser's floating disk at 1st level. If I can do that, anyone else can do just about anything else. But you're making me think; I've been considering revamping the advancement system a little--possibly making it more arbitrary or something similar. XPs are really only intended to be a currency, a way for characters to buy improvements such as new spells or merits. The fact that they make you level up makes sense in the traditional RPG fashion, but it may not work here. We're still calculating that, and any input is helpful.

Now, lack of engagement isn't intended to put people off, simply to remind them to play up to their potential. If the Narrator drives players out of the game with his pickiness about their play style or their attention to detail of character, he's going too far. This should be subjective and, like any good GM, the Narrator should apply these penalties judiciously, not freely and habitually. There are suggestive guidelines for this, which I may outline later. As to more engaged players having a larger effect on the story, I think that that will happen by default.

Hi,
Quote
The "leveling-up" process is a carrot to lead the party in the direction of grander adventures
Are the players supposed to enjoy getting more badass (leveing up)?

It wont be much good if they're in a grand adventures, but are really only there because they are interested in the carrots.

Well, if you look at what I said:

If there must be a point to, specifically, growing "bigger and badasser," then it should be that, as the characters do slowly gain in power and control over their choices, then they will feel more confident in tackling larger and realer problems, such as preventing an evil deity from unleashing a deadly curse upon the world as opposed to simply killing highwaymen. The "leveling-up" process is a carrot to lead the party in the direction of grander adventures, not a device to encourage them to seek out even greater power.

What I mean by this is that the party should not be leveling up just level up. Instead, the realization that they now have more hit points, new spells, etc., should encourage them to think, "Hey, now we can change to world even more! Perhaps now we can go back and do such-and-such that we heard about, or rid the world of the terrible vilain Whatshisname." So, no, if they're only interested in the carrots, as you put it, then it won't be a very good game. But then, that's not what it's about, and it isn't that kind of game. If they're only interested in the carrots, either the Narrator isn't doing his job, or you've got the wrong players. That's what WoW is for.
Logged

In the battle between good and evil...evil gets better clothes.
Caldis
Member

Posts: 359


« Reply #17 on: October 22, 2009, 02:34:34 PM »

If a definite innovation is required to sell it to the audience, then we'll say that, unlike many RPGs in which the characters move the storyline but aren't really central to it, in Dragon Scroll, the PCs are the story (hopefully this will answer your first question). The Narrator's job is to provide a framework--a tenuous goal or plot to get the characetrs started--and then react as the party advances. This "reactive storytelling" has been far more successful for us, and a lot more fun, in other games and settings than the standard emthod of guiding the players, however gently or subtly, in the direction you, as GM, want them to go. Now we're letting the players decide the story--the Children of Change, determining the course of history--and the Narrator facilitates the fun by coming up with villains, obstacles, consequences, et cetera based on gameplay so far.

This sounds good but a lot of games start with this talk and never actually follow up.  How is your game going to help the Narrator provide a framework the players can react to and how does it help them make characters that push a story rather than wait around for action in the world and direction from the Narrator? 




Logged
Callan S.
Member

Posts: 3588


WWW
« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2009, 02:35:48 AM »

Quote
What I mean by this is that the party should not be leveling up just level up.
Well, that's what I mean as well - what rule says they shouldn't be leveling up just to level up?

Better yet, rather than just telling them what not to do, what rules are there to tell them what they should be aiming for (or what general direction they should be aiming somewhere inside of)?

Think of a group who, not knowing any better, plays your game all boardgamey - what would make sure they know better than to do that? What rules are in there? And if there are no rules in terms of that, isn't it understandable that they might just go all boardgamey? And probably not get the sort of game you wanted to deliver? Are they failing by going all boardgamey, or was there a lack of guidance?

Quote
Instead, the realization that they now have more hit points, new spells, etc., should encourage them to think, "Hey, now we can change to world even more! Perhaps now we can go back and do such-and-such that we heard about, or rid the world of the terrible vilain Whatshisname."
Were probably a bit more literal here. You'll find people writing mechanics that, on the players character sheet, have something like "Defeat vilain lord whatshisname!: +4D6" and that bonus to defeat him keeps racking up and it's very explicit in that you are more powerful at beating him, and this bonus only applies in doing so. It's very literal, but at the same time just giving someone some more hitpoints and spells - it can be incredibly vague and obtuse, not bringing daring do to mind at all.

I'm probably ripping off riddle of steel alot in that example, just as a side note.
 
Quote
So, no, if they're only interested in the carrots, as you put it, then it won't be a very good game. But then, that's not what it's about, and it isn't that kind of game. If they're only interested in the carrots, either the Narrator isn't doing his job, or you've got the wrong players.
Alot of people here probably think along the lines that no, it's the designer who wasn't doing his job, not the narrator. If the narrator has to do all the work of this, why should he buy the game when he does all the work in the end? That's like buying a shovel then ending up just digging with your bare hands. The designer must take some part of this workload onto his shoulders and design rules to handle it, otherwise his rules add no value in themselves (and thus, why buy them? Or even download them for free?).
Logged

Philosopher Gamer
<meaning></meaning>
charles ferguson
Member

Posts: 74


« Reply #19 on: October 27, 2009, 04:02:59 PM »

Hi Morgan,

Re: innovation, I think if you love the game you're designing then go for broke. Innovation for it's own sake isn't going to work any better than imitation for it's own sake. So IMO you're doing fine there.

Levels or no levels, XP or no XP, I don't think this is either here or there. It's the purpose you put these things to that impacts your game.

But I do believe that whatever mechanics you put in your game will attract player activity proportionate to the weight those mechanics have in your text and in actual play--which is a good thing, right? Because then you can make sure your design is pulling people toward what you want them to get out of your game.

Mechanics are also the clearest way you have for showing (as opposed to telling) your game's players what your game is all about.

So, lots of combat rules & weapons tables & XP for killing monsters (frex) is good for getting players to go kill monsters.
Lots of XPs for solving puzzles and a meaty resolution system for same is good for getting players to go solve puzzles.
A system that dumps players into hot water they can't get out of alone, and then provides elegant mechanics giving bonuses for co-operative behaviour is good for getting players to work together.

And so on.

The goal of your game isn't, IMO, important just so long as a) you understand it and b) you love it.

What is important is that so far as you're able, you strengthen all the mechanics that promote that goal and ditch or transform any that take away from it.

A guy called Mike Holmes said "Write rules that deal with what's important in your game and gloss the rest." To me that's gold.

Good luck with Dragon Scroll!

Charles
Logged
Morgan Coldsoul
Member

Posts: 22


« Reply #20 on: November 06, 2009, 11:31:52 PM »

Innovation for it's own sake isn't going to work any better than imitation for it's own sake.

Thanks for the support--and the inspiration!   Smiley

This sounds good but a lot of games start with this talk and never actually follow up.  How is your game going to help the Narrator provide a framework the players can react to and how does it help them make characters that push a story rather than wait around for action in the world and direction from the Narrator? 

You're absolutely right! A lot of RPGs promise that the players and their characters will have a larger effect on the story than just moving it along, and, disappointingly, never deliver. Our idea is to provide tools for both the Narrator and the characters to make the story about them. As Children of Change, the characters have the power to affect the course of history forever--here's a brief explanation of how the Dragon Scroll, itself, actually works:

In the beginning, when Morrigane, the Elder God, spun Azmordaine from the Shadow, there were many futures for the infant world. Unwilling to let His creation spiral into uncertainty alone, He inscribed upon a great Scroll all possible futures for the new world. Each of these futures lay at the end of a path, a branch in the course of time chosen by those few with the will and spirit to steer the course towards it or away. These chosen ones would be known as the Children of Change, drawn from the ten races of the Scroll, and they would have power over the empty spaces on the Scroll--that which was written Between the Lines.

The idea is that each adventure has several branches in it, culminating a particularly major or important one. The Narrator's job is to provide a variety of quest hooks and adventure motivations for the party to choose from and use the events that occur to plan the next set of hooks and motivations they will provide. These are the spaces "Between the Lines." In this fashion, the Narrator can start with a basic idea for a saga or campaign, and build on it or transform it as the party adventures onward, freely choosing between the paths the Narrator provides. Each success or failure of the party, and each decision they make, provides material for the Narrator to construct the next stage of the saga. He or she can entice them towards one adventure or another using this method, as well, in order to maintain more control over the story, or can allow the players as much freedom in choosing their path as they like; it's up to the Narrator, and the players, of course.

Rather than publishing adventures in their entirety, we plan on releasing supplements that contain the basic or core concept for a saga, an outline of how the players might go from beginning to end, a number of quests--major and minor--that the Narrator can use to get them there, and suggestions on how to proceed based on whether the players make typical or unexpected choices. Using these tools, the players feel like they control the adventure by selecting their own paths, and the Narrator has the necessary material at his or her disposal to move the adventure along without railroading or dominating the campaign.

Think of a group who, not knowing any better, plays your game all boardgamey - what would make sure they know better than to do that? What rules are in there? And if there are no rules in terms of that, isn't it understandable that they might just go all boardgamey? And probably not get the sort of game you wanted to deliver? Are they failing by going all boardgamey, or was there a lack of guidance?
...
Were probably a bit more literal here. You'll find people writing mechanics that, on the players character sheet, have something like "Defeat vilain lord whatshisname!: +4D6" and that bonus to defeat him keeps racking up and it's very explicit in that you are more powerful at beating him, and this bonus only applies in doing so. It's very literal, but at the same time just giving someone some more hitpoints and spells - it can be incredibly vague and obtuse, not bringing daring do to mind at all.
...
Alot of people here probably think along the lines that no, it's the designer who wasn't doing his job, not the narrator. If the narrator has to do all the work of this, why should he buy the game when he does all the work in the end? That's like buying a shovel then ending up just digging with your bare hands. The designer must take some part of this workload onto his shoulders and design rules to handle it, otherwise his rules add no value in themselves (and thus, why buy them? Or even download them for free?).

First, I'll say that there are rules in place to describe to the players what is expected of them. There is more than one way to play almost any game, and if a party should choose to play simply for the shiny armor and the XPs, we leave that option open for them. However, the Player's Manual actually begins with a chapter on how to play and become immersed in the game before it even talks about character creation. Hopefully, this will provide the players with what they need to start off, and they can use their imaginations to take it from there.

As far as revisiting previous plot hooks, I hadn't heard of the idea of giving bonuses specific to certain villains or quests before, and that wouldn't really fit our setting. No, instead players are simply provided with the opportunity to look at avenues that may not have been previously open to them in new ways as they grow in experience. Growing in power is secondary; it's growing in experience that's the key, and with experience comes perspective. Our frameworks will provide suggestions for the Narrator as to how they can recycle previously passed-over plots into new adventures.

Lastly, we as developers have done most of the design work. As I said above, we provide adventure frameworks and a vast amount of detailed background and character information for the Narrator to use in working them how they see fit. Most importantly, though, we have created a world, with mechanics, stories, and characters, that should by its very nature discourage simple hack-n-slash roleplaying; due to the interaction of societies and other factors, that style of gameplay isn't efficient here, and it would take more work to do that than to play with your brain and imagination. So based upon that, I would reiterate that, if in spite of the material and tools we provide him or her with, the Narrator can still run a game where their players find the next experience level to be the most enticing thing drawing them onward, then there is likely something wrong with the play situation. Level in Dragon Scroll is not meant to be a measure of power in the same way as other RPGs, although it is a convenient number to glance at and estimate one's ability. Instead, it is really a measure of character build--how many XPs total that the character has earned to spend on new improvements such as spells and so forth. A 10th-level character would have 10,000+ points; that's what level means here.
Logged

In the battle between good and evil...evil gets better clothes.
Morgan Coldsoul
Member

Posts: 22


« Reply #21 on: November 25, 2009, 06:52:29 PM »

*bump*
Logged

In the battle between good and evil...evil gets better clothes.
yoyohh
Member

Posts: 17


« Reply #22 on: November 25, 2009, 07:15:18 PM »

When using dowsing for telling your fortune, think of the rod, stick, or whatever tool you may be using, as an antennae to help you hone in wow power leveling and tune into the energy, combining yours with it until both of your energy forces are one.It's advised to try your hand at dowsing during different times of day and when you're in varying states of mind, as both of these wow power leveling circumstances can potentially affect your results. It may even be helpful to keep a record of the times of day you practice dowsing or the objects you use so you can keep track of which may work best.Once you've mastered the art of dowsing or divining for simpler purposes, such as world of warcraft gold locating hidden objects or water sources, you can then tap into the powers of your own mind and also find the important answers you're looking for through dowsing.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2009, 07:09:15 PM by lumpley » Logged
Morgan Coldsoul
Member

Posts: 22


« Reply #23 on: December 02, 2009, 03:21:09 PM »

O_o;

I'm not entirely certain that that's at all relevant...
Logged

In the battle between good and evil...evil gets better clothes.
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #24 on: December 02, 2009, 04:23:50 PM »

Please don't respond to spam at the Forge. Simply hit the "report post" button and don't reply to it in any way. Continue with the discussion as if the spam did not exist and either Vincent and I will remove it.

I'm leaving the current spam post here, with your reply and with this post, as a reminder for everyone.

Best, Ron
Logged
Pages: 1 [2]
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!