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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: [Crepusculum] CharGen & Mechanics  (Read 6091 times)
MacLeod
Member

Posts: 216


« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2009, 03:14:14 AM »

I don't usually like free-form power rules
I've always been a bit iffy about such things as well... as of late I have (obviously) grown to like the idea. It use to be that for me to even want to play the game, it would have to have detailed rules for every maneuver possible.

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I'm a bit pinched for time, but had some questions.
Feel free to come back when you have some more time, sir. =) I'm hungry for any kind of input I can get.

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With the characteristic rules as free-form as they are, are you concerned with players gravitating towards creating attributes, skills, etc. that contribute solely to combat and nothing else? If so, do you see any way to cap or provide disincentive for doing thing? Is it important that characters be diverse in there abilities?
It depends on the group, honestly.*
I think the character creation process is stronger if done as group. That way, everyone can get out in the open the kind of campaign they want to run. Additionally, it is my hope that the GM (of any game) will look at the PCs and recognize a situation for each of them to excel at. I'd like to think that, as a group, each player would like his hero to bring something different to the table... Because that will bring a highly varied campaign to them. I believe that is a strong reward.
Furthermore... I expect that any player whom creates his character as a narrowly focused combat monster will find that his GM will challenge him in ways his character will not be ready for.

* This isn't to say that it isn't the responsibility of the game author to lay out advice for avoiding these problems.

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Do you see this happening with your game? Is this a concern to you?
The way powers are built... its likely you'll know if you are going to be a combat guy right off the bat. Growing into that role is pretty tough unless you have a very lenient GM. Its my hope that no one ends up feeling this way though... Look at the Justice League, for instance... Batman has no powers yet he is always figuring out important information and allowing the big guys to do their thing when the time comes. If a player can enjoy being the cunning tactician and forge a solid personality for his character, I don't think he'll feel the draw of being a combat monster that easily. At least, not until he makes a new character. =)

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So far, the powers seem to operate in the same range of potency. Have you given thought to powers that have extra effect upon success? Perhaps resolution proceeds as normal, but on a successful hit, extra effect is added to mark abilities that have more raw power behind them. Perhaps instead of choosing an additional technique, the player can put a star by an existing technique, making it more potent. Just an idea. Thoughts?
Much of the fiddly bits haven't been worked out quite yet... but I don't see why Advancement couldn't include 'Mastery' or something similar of an existing Technique.

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At some point, I remember reading about Power Points. Is that still a game element? How does that work?
As of right now, they have been removed. I was thinking that as part of the mechanical suggestions that players could add 'Draining' to a Power to limit its number of uses BUT give it additional effects.

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In the combat example, the characters each picked a technique and some characteristics, and brought it to bear against the opponent. What would happen if one of the combatants just wanted to defend themselves without the chance of inflicting damage? Would you see a defensive bonus for this? How would that work?
One thing I didn't represent in the example of play is how I tend to treat Hp in games I design... If a character wanted to defeat his opponent without the use of harm that is 100% possible, as you say Hp means more than physical health. The game text description of Hp is, "Hp measures your health, combat advantage, level of fatigue, luck and perseverance." To damage that, a combatant simply has to attack one of those aspects. Thus by making an opponent feel helpless, you may damage his Hp.
If everything works out, I'd actually wouldn't including a mechanic for mid-battle Hp restoration based on heroic successes. A villain lashes out a near by crowd by you stop the attack dead in its tracks, making you feel like a million bucks... you regain 4 Hp automatically. That sort of thing.

Careful here.  Lower dice (2d4s) double more often than larger dice (2d8s).
Indeed. x_x How about a +1 instead? Its not too massive but it still produces a positive effect.

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You know, after thinking about it, I think I raised that point of Davids vs Goliaths too early.  I was doing some thinking, and it occurred to me that it's actually a Good Thing that wimps can compete in combat (as long as the player is creative enough).  You may be playing a wimpy nerd, but he is a super wimpy nerd after all.  I'd keep the original idea (tagging attributes/skills/etc.) and see if there are problems during playtesting.  Sorry for muddying the issue.
I was a little hesitant to add numbers anyways. =)

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Good idea.  Or he could use an action to add one of his techniques to the roll (adding a +1) [So if 3 PCs teamed up against a giant robot, for example, the acting player might get a +2 bonus to his roll].
I should definitely make a note of all the team work possibilities, as suggestions of course. =) I'm not too worried about creating a lot of crunch anyways... after that major revision towards the beginning of this thread, the rules only game out to be 4 full pages.

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Lastly, just to reinforce the point, I think the nerd vs. brawler potential could actually be one of the best parts of the game.
Agreed. I'd love to have a game where everyone feels useful more often than not.
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~*/\Matthew Miller/\*~
Sebastian K. Hickey
Member

Posts: 141


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« Reply #16 on: September 22, 2009, 03:38:36 AM »

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Indeed. x_x How about a +1 instead? Its not too massive but it still produces a positive effect.

That sounds fair.

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I'm not too worried about creating a lot of crunch anyways.

Good call.

Looks like you're ready for play testing, more or less.  Let me know when it is written and I'll try to run a session with my group for you.
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MacLeod
Member

Posts: 216


« Reply #17 on: September 22, 2009, 04:01:49 AM »

For sure, Mr. Hickey. =)
Today is class day so I won't get much time to tinker with it unfortunately. Which is sad because I had this great momentum going for the project, too.
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~*/\Matthew Miller/\*~
Ken
Member

Posts: 196


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« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2009, 01:06:41 AM »

As of right now, they have been removed. I was thinking that as part of the mechanical suggestions that players could add 'Draining' to a Power to limit its number of uses BUT give it additional effects.

I skirted around that with Ten-Cent Heroes, by just considering it as damage. Another way of dealing with it without having to create extra stats may be just to create an action penalty for being drained. You character uses a power and then succumbs to the penalty for a certain amount of time. Just an idea.

A villain lashes out a near by crowd by you stop the attack dead in its tracks, making you feel like a million bucks... you regain 4 Hp automatically. That sort of thing.

That is an interesting idea, and neatly fits into both the genre and your esoteric use of HPs. In comics, a character's most important attribute is their relevance. It doesn't matter how strong or powerful they are, if they are not important to the story, fate usually finds a way (no matter how unrealistic) to take them out. Likewise, important characters always seem to come back dramatically when they are needed (not when a doctor says its possible for them get back to work). Good stuff!

Glad to see this developing. I'm a big fan of super games and really like your angle here. Keep it up!

Ken
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Ken

10-Cent Heroes; check out my blog:
http://ten-centheroes.blogspot.com

Sync; my techno-horror 2-pager
http://members.cox.net/laberday/sync.pdf
MacLeod
Member

Posts: 216


« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2009, 11:53:54 AM »

I skirted around that with Ten-Cent Heroes, by just considering it as damage. Another way of dealing with it without having to create extra stats may be just to create an action penalty for being drained. You character uses a power and then succumbs to the penalty for a certain amount of time. Just an idea.
Very reminiscent of Talislanta... which is interesting considering... =)

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That is an interesting idea, and neatly fits into both the genre and your esoteric use of HPs. In comics, a character's most important attribute is their relevance. It doesn't matter how strong or powerful they are, if they are not important to the story, fate usually finds a way (no matter how unrealistic) to take them out. Likewise, important characters always seem to come back dramatically when they are needed (not when a doctor says its possible for them get back to work). Good stuff!
Haha, indeed! Justice League is the worst when it comes to this. With Superman and Wonder Woman arrive and they somehow get beat back for a plot point only to come back later and ground those fools into dust, it tends to remind one of those goofy comic story requirements. =)

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Glad to see this developing. I'm a big fan of super games and really like your angle here. Keep it up!
I'm not one to finish anything I've started but at the same time this game has gotten way more attention than any other project I've started... so perhaps I'll actually follow through with this one for a change. =D
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~*/\Matthew Miller/\*~
Ken
Member

Posts: 196


WWW
« Reply #20 on: September 24, 2009, 03:14:07 AM »

I'm not one to finish anything I've started but at the same time this game has gotten way more attention than any other project I've started... so perhaps I'll actually follow through with this one for a change.

Don't get me started. Ten-Cent Heroes, version 2, has been finished and on the work bench awaiting a rewrite for a while now. It sounds like, based on your expectations or how long the rules were going to be, that you could be almost done. You could always come back to it later with a revised version. Playtesting is key. Get to it, and good luck.

Ken
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Ken

10-Cent Heroes; check out my blog:
http://ten-centheroes.blogspot.com

Sync; my techno-horror 2-pager
http://members.cox.net/laberday/sync.pdf
Zebediah
Registree

Posts: 2


« Reply #21 on: September 26, 2009, 08:19:29 AM »

This looks really nice.  The freeform power generation is one of the better focused prose power description systems I've seen.

I think you may be underutilizing the "flaw" mechanic, here.  In particular, you mention that you like to "twist the knife," so powers crossed out give a penalty instead of a bonus when that trait would have been used.

Folding that into the "flaw" mechanic -- crossed off traits become flaws until you can fix the issue -- and not only do you have fewer "moving parts" but you get some lovely moral/tactical choices.

Do you invoke your opponent's flaw and hammer him, thus strengthening his resolve to fight back?

Or do you, out of a sense of mercy or honor, avoid poking him where it hurts?

Do you strive to overcome your weakness, knowing the path is harder but the rewards great?

Or do you husband your strength, avoiding unnecessary difficulties?


Especially since the bad guys are more likely to poke at people's vulnerable spots, this means that fighting and losing to a vicious villain you can build up the ooph to take him out later.


Second place for reusing the Flaw mechanic -- if there are powers with extra punch, rather than making them cost some generic resource, you could have them apply a flaw to the character for a short period.  Maybe Battle Rage helps you lay on the hurt, but you're Stuck in the Red Tunnel -- unable to pay attention to anything but smacking your foe as hard as possible.  Or perhaps your Stonebody lets you eat up damage like nobody's business, but makes you Ponderously Heavy.  Or the Omega Power Band Blast leaves you Weak and Strung Out.

I read a comic once where one of the characters would start to bliss out if she used her powers too much, and lose track of the battle in the face of the high.  It was pretty nifty.


Anyway, this looks like an awsome light system for people into creative superhero play.  I'm looking forward to more updates :']
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MacLeod
Member

Posts: 216


« Reply #22 on: September 27, 2009, 01:26:21 PM »

It sounds like, based on your expectations or how long the rules were going to be, that you could be almost done. You could always come back to it later with a revised version. Playtesting is key. Get to it, and good luck.
This week has been a strange one... I've been actually busy. @_@ It won't last though, I'll be able to sink some more time into this thing soon.

This looks really nice.  The freeform power generation is one of the better focused prose power description systems I've seen.
Anyway, this looks like an awesome light system for people into creative superhero play.  I'm looking forward to more updates :']
Thank you kindly sir. =) I need to get accustomed to my schedule and then I'll be good to go. Also, a laptop would help a lot. @_@

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I think you may be under utilizing the "flaw" mechanic, here.  In particular, you mention that you like to "twist the knife," so powers crossed out give a penalty instead of a bonus when that trait would have been used.
Folding that into the "flaw" mechanic -- crossed off traits become flaws until you can fix the issue -- and not only do you have fewer "moving parts" but you get some lovely moral/tactical choices.
I think something like this could be explored during playtesting to iron out what works best. =)

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Second place for reusing the Flaw mechanic -- if there are powers with extra punch, rather than making them cost some generic resource, you could have them apply a flaw to the character for a short period.  Maybe Battle Rage helps you lay on the hurt, but you're Stuck in the Red Tunnel -- unable to pay attention to anything but smacking your foe as hard as possible.  Or perhaps your Stonebody lets you eat up damage like nobody's business, but makes you Ponderously Heavy.  Or the Omega Power Band Blast leaves you Weak and Strung Out.
I think this would be a great idea for the Powers' mechanical suggestions section! Thanks for the great idea!
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