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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 151 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: An alternate-universe warfare RPG  (Read 1124 times)
Kanosint
Member

Posts: 14


« on: September 06, 2009, 12:35:25 PM »

Please excuse me if I say anything stupid, I'm rather new here, but others have recommended I run this through here, to see what other designers think of this.

First things first, I'll refer to my creation as WRPG from now on.

What's this all about, then? Well, I'm creating a setting for my group (and maybe for publication if I'm happy with it), though I'm stuck on a few important questions. Yes, this is defenitely about RPG design, though the setting is the decisive factor. This means I'll describe the setting first to give you a good idea about the impeding questions.

The Setting: The setting, as implied in the name, is a war setting. It will be slightly futuristic warfare in a parody of our Earth, a long-standing war between the Allied Western Empires and the Collective of the Red Star. These are, of course, parodies on the USA and the USSR, respectively, and both will have their defining traits exaggerated. The AWE, for example, is a rather zealous lot, and Priests actively participate in battle, with higher church rank allowing access to military sattelites for orbital bombardment. The CRS, on the other hand, are known for their ruthless functionality, having pursued cybernetic enhancements and walker vehicles. Their Demolitionists, for example, are trained with a variety of explosives and stealth techniques, enhanced with fine cybernetic tools to aid in arming their explosives. The game world is set on the surface of a single planet, and despite the futuristic nature, all weaponry is still projectile-based. The PCs would be soldiers on either of the two factions (depending on the GM's campaign plan) and they'll plan a single soldier. The main focus would be on small group combat, the larger battle unfolding through GM narration. The combat should be internally coherent in the setting, meaning that there will be serious repercussions to going out into the open, and wounding can result in permanent disabilities. All in all, it's a gritty setting, similar, perhaps, to Warhammer 40k and the world set in Gears of War.

The Problem: Sure, I have a setting now, and a good idea what I want... BUT! There is not a single system I played that perfectly does what I want, but maybe some come close enough to modify. I certainly tried the D20 system, Rolemaster, and Phoenix Command, despite the latter not being an actual RPG system. If this is the case, question solved! But which system? And if not, which is likely to be the case when I judge my current options, what would be best?
Classes or no? Sure, it's a military game, so no classes would be your best bet... But Then, I do want a few distinctly different abilities for Snipers that, say, a man of Faith would not find easy access to.
Levels? I'd say no, but how can one tell players in an easy way their opponents are tough or not? Is this needed?
Should I use single die rolls for their granularity, or a die pool, for the greater amount of variables so one can make a clear distinction between methods of damage avoidance? Maybe no dice at all? Though it should stay a Fortune mechanic, to represent that combat is inherently a chaotic experience.
I could go on, really, I'm basically looking for some minor advice, and a reason why I should, for example, pick classless. I do not require whole systems set up for me, only a few guidelines to break the ties, to better weigh the options I have.
If you discover an unaddressed issue, yet you find this important, do not be afraid to bring it up.

I thank you for your attention.
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Vladius
Member

Posts: 44


« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2009, 08:36:27 AM »

Don't base your system on something else, just make your own! It'll be much more satisfying that way and you can claim that you've shown your work. You can take some ideas from other systems, certainly, but if they don't fit for your setting, then I think that your game becomes something larger than just a concept.

Other than that, really cool. I love the idea of Battle Priests in the Cold (Hot) War.
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BrunoDeLaBomba
Member

Posts: 17


« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2009, 04:18:54 AM »

sounds like you're on to something here, the battle priest thing=cool.

and you should really check out "savage worlds" if your looking for a great system for a war-based setting.
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Mike Sugarbaker
Member

Posts: 108

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« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2009, 10:42:59 AM »

That's good that you have a good idea what you want, but we sure don't. What is playing this game supposed to feel like for the players?
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Publisher/Co-Editor, OgreCave
Caretaker, Planet Story Games
Content Admin, Story Games Codex
Kanosint
Member

Posts: 14


« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2009, 12:39:23 PM »

That's good that you have a good idea what you want, but we sure don't. What is playing this game supposed to feel like for the players?

Ah, good point for reminding me. The game should reward courage. Cowards are something both factions despise, and courage is always rewarded. A session should feel like a war movie, where those weak of mind fall as swift as those weak of body... Endurance and willpower wins the day, though recklessness is deadly... A steady push wins over a swift strike.
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Mike Sugarbaker
Member

Posts: 108

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« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2009, 11:43:21 AM »

So, on the one hand,
Quote
The game should reward courage. Cowards are something both factions despise, and courage is always rewarded. A session should feel like a war movie, where those weak of mind fall as swift as those weak of body...

And on the other,
Quote
Endurance and willpower wins the day, though recklessness is deadly... A steady push wins over a swift strike.

Do you see how these stand opposed to one another? If you want your game to reward courage, you can't have it punish recklessness. Or, well, you can, but the front on which recklessness is punished can't be the front that really matters.

...which might be the satirical point you're after?
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Publisher/Co-Editor, OgreCave
Caretaker, Planet Story Games
Content Admin, Story Games Codex
Kanosint
Member

Posts: 14


« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2009, 05:23:29 AM »

Yup, and I am totally aware of it, which is part of what makes it so hard to find balance in this, because the game is on all fronts hypocritical. In the end, nobody really wins. What did they fight for? The wars are on such a scale that even their best can never truly matter, at least not to the point where their actions win the war. They can win battles, but winning battles often means having to make some sacrifice. However, not making the sacrifice is often worse, and these dillemmas are vital to the genre, and thus the game. Choosing the lesser of two evils. By charging, you risk losing life and limb, but by hiding, you risk losing your country, and loved ones (not to mention court martial).
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Mike Sugarbaker
Member

Posts: 108

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« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2009, 08:21:37 AM »

I don't think you're looking for balance - a tug of war isn't ever going to find a balance point, without leaving all its players awfully exhausted - but rather you're looking for the reason this is going to be fun for players. That may all come out in the execution of the setting material, it's hard to say at this point. You've got your players in a vicious double bind; now, why are they enjoying being there?
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Publisher/Co-Editor, OgreCave
Caretaker, Planet Story Games
Content Admin, Story Games Codex
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