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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: [Nevercast] - A hyper-simulationist role-playing game, overview  (Read 8144 times)
JoyWriter
Member

Posts: 469

also known as Josh W


« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2010, 07:15:29 AM »

I'll start with combat stuff first:

If you dodge, you get a counterattack bonus because you are already in the position to counter and you have the advantage of timing while your opponent recovers from his attack.

This reminds me of a more fuzzy version of beat-em-up combos, and the chains of attacks in games like soul calibur. It sounds like you could produce some extra complexity by subverting basic chains with resistances, blocking off common successor attacks so people have to shift tactics around a bit. Considering the beat-em-up analogy, have you considered making special "linking moves" or similar that provide different sets of bonuses, and allow someone to create character specific move loops?

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Ar Kayon
Member

Posts: 190


« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2010, 10:42:58 AM »

<<<<<<<
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Ar Kayon
Member

Posts: 190


« Reply #17 on: January 29, 2010, 10:08:56 AM »

Nevercast Professions (Please inquire for further elaboration)

1. Wanderer

2. Hunter
-Technology Hunter
-Information Hunter

3. Master
-Master of Martial Arts
-Master of Internal Arts
-Master of the Sciences

4. Special Operations
-Soldier
-Mercenary

5. Operative
-Intelligence Operative
-Assassin
-Freelance/Rogue Operative

6. Emissary

7. Smuggler
-Arms Dealer
-Technology Dealer

8. Mastermind
-Securities Mastermind
-Systems Mastermind
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JoyWriter
Member

Posts: 469

also known as Josh W


« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2010, 07:57:18 PM »

valueold probabilitynew probability
01/41/2
11/41/4
21/41/8
31/161/16
41/161/32
51/161/64
61/641/128
71/641/256

ie although it is a purer representation of that idea, it gives a slightly lower variance on results, but more importantly, half the average bonus. You can doctor this by adding 1 automatically to the roll, but that obviously has it's own effects!

You can also try to beat your opponent to the draw in a firefight.

I see, but what contests are not down to speed? It seems that many of the actions your characters will be getting into; shooting vs shooting vs dodging vs strikes depend first and foremost on speed. There is a certain realism in that naturally, speed vs accuracy being the basic tradeoff in marksmanship, but at the moment I can only see a single variable being used. Do you distinguish fast shot/aimed shot or fast strike/precise strike?
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Ar Kayon
Member

Posts: 190


« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2010, 01:26:01 AM »

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Ar Kayon
Member

Posts: 190


« Reply #20 on: January 31, 2010, 02:19:07 AM »

Quote
Interesting, so as much as possible, game terms are to be transferred into description? Presumably that's a big part of why you have effects rather than a wound system or hp, although in order for players to make decisions they'll still need to know how it effects their stats/ability to do actions. This naturally has an impact when it comes to doing calculations and recording effects; presumably you'll want the GM to do all calculations? But then the impression I get is that is just comparing values, subtracting the lower and reading off lookup tables for the effect right? Subject to prevention characteristics that the characters have. Straightforward, providing you create a set of really clear and easily differentiated tables.

You've nailed my intentions here.  It's good to know that I'm communicating clearly.

I firmly believe, for the purposes of my game, that a descriptive method will offer more exciting gameplay than a numerical method.  I also think it makes for more streamlined gameplay.  This is important because a game with such complexity needs to be as streamlined as possible.  My goal is to create an elegant system, not a clunky hodgepodge that includes everything but the kitchen sink. 

Players do not need to know in quantifiable terms how effects influence their actions.  All they need to know is that they're weaker from exerting so much physical effort, or that they're limping from being shot in the leg.  Obvious effects should be clear, however; the player should be informed that they are off-balance so he knows to spend a combat action to recover.  The GM is going to have to play around with how he presents information to the player, and I will be able to expound upon effective ways to do so in the Game Mastering section after a few playtesting sessions.
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Adam Dray
Member

Posts: 676


WWW
« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2010, 09:28:04 AM »

On a side note, a gunman can assume a profiled position when firing single-handedly in order to improve his passive defense score.

And minimize the use of his vest, by the way.


On topic:

Do you have in mind any kind of upper limit for how much handling time the average combat will take? For example, if it takes 50 minutes to resolve a typical combat, is that okay?

The system of aggregating and aggravating conditions looks an awful lot like a death spiral. Does the first person to land a blow get a significant advantage?

Real fights are chaotic and unpredictable. Outside of controlled sparring, such as boxing matches, it is rare to really plan a strategy during a fight. People just sorta grab each other and throw wild punches. Most fights end up on the ground. Outdoors, you might be slammed down onto asphalt or a broken bottle. How does this reality match up with the "realism" of your game design?
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Adam Dray / adam@legendary.org
Verge -- cyberpunk role-playing on the brink
FoundryMUSH - indie chat and play at foundry.legendary.org 7777
Ar Kayon
Member

Posts: 190


« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2010, 11:26:46 AM »

Quote
Do you have in mind any kind of upper limit for how much handling time the average combat will take? For example, if it takes 50 minutes to resolve a typical combat, is that okay?

The system of aggregating and aggravating conditions looks an awful lot like a death spiral. Does the first person to land a blow get a significant advantage?

Real fights are chaotic and unpredictable. Outside of controlled sparring, such as boxing matches, it is rare to really plan a strategy during a fight. People just sorta grab each other and throw wild punches. Most fights end up on the ground. Outdoors, you might be slammed down onto asphalt or a broken bottle. How does this reality match up with the "realism" of your game design?

On Combat Length
- How long combat takes to resolve is not a concern of mine, especially if the players are engaged.  I believe that the system is intellectually rewarding, and that some players may even desire a long exchange as a result.  To put it into perspective, a lot of people love chess, but chess games can easily take up an hour or more.  In my opinion, it is the complexity and intellectual substance of the game that allows it to be playable for extended periods of time.

As of right now, I cannot comment on how long it actually takes to resolve combat on average, as there is the possibility for a 1-round resolution as well as a stalemate between the same parties involved.  Well played strategies on both sides could mean a lengthy bout, but a long exchange will never be inherent of the system in of itself.  For example, in Dungeons and Dragons, players and enemies may have large quantities of hit points, along with healing powers to keep the fight going (in 3.5 especially, rules bloat alone can cause lengthy encounters).  In contrast, there are no abstract health quantities here (skilled combatants are just as mortal as everyone else), and there are no instant health boosts or powers, such as potions/stimpacks/spells etc.  Also, my mechanics are designed to be easily referenced and memorized, and all numerical values are kept as small as possible in order to keep calculation times to a minimum.


On the death spiral<On realism
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Adam Dray
Member

Posts: 676


WWW
« Reply #23 on: February 01, 2010, 11:59:22 AM »

Regarding realism, why does the responsibility for the realism of some things go to the GM while that of other things goes to the mechanics? I mean, I understand that you have to draw a line somewhere. Why have you drawn a line where you did?

Maybe the answer is as simple as, "I am just not interested in simulating certain things." That's fine. But you tout this as "a hyper-simulationist role-playing game," and I'm trying to understand what that means to you.

For example, in my mind, the inexperienced fighter takes the fight to the ground because he sorta has to.* It's instinct. Being on the ground minimizes the other guy's advantages, even if he's had some fighting experience (perhaps especially if he's had some typical martial arts experience). But also there's this psychological thing that happens in fights where most of your fucking training goes out the door and you're just fighting like a madman. Maybe some of your training is back there subconsciously helping a little. Why leave that to the GM?

You said, "Basically, all meta-game concerns will be assigned to the game mastering section."  Why do you call this a meta-gaming concern?

* Yes, for this example, I'm intentionally ignoring martial arts styles that "live" on the ground.
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Adam Dray / adam@legendary.org
Verge -- cyberpunk role-playing on the brink
FoundryMUSH - indie chat and play at foundry.legendary.org 7777
Ar Kayon
Member

Posts: 190


« Reply #24 on: February 01, 2010, 01:41:19 PM »

For example, in my mind, the inexperienced fighter takes the fight to the ground because he sorta has to.* It's instinct. Being on the ground minimizes the other guy's advantages, even if he's had some fighting experience (perhaps especially if he's had some typical martial arts experience). But also there's this psychological thing that happens in fights where most of your fucking training goes out the door and you're just fighting like a madman. Maybe some of your training is back there subconsciously helping a little. Why leave that to the GM?

You said, "Basically, all meta-game concerns will be assigned to the game mastering section."  Why do you call this a meta-gaming concern?
Quote
Maybe the answer is as simple as, "I am just not interested in simulating certain things." That's fine. But you tout this as "a hyper-simulationist role-playing game," and I'm trying to understand what that means to you.
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David Berg
Member

Posts: 612


« Reply #25 on: February 02, 2010, 09:30:44 PM »

Hi Ar,

I dig your goals, ideas, and many of your techniques.  Here's a scattershot response to various topics from this thread.  Feel free to use other threads (or whatever organizational technique you'd prefer) to address ones that don't fit into the discussion you've got rolling now.

"Realism"
I'm pondering the "simulation of realism" here. 
- There seems to be a high priority on sensible outcomes. 
- There seems to be a low priority on simulating in-game time (a fight that takes a character 2 minutes may take a player 30 minutes). 
- There seems to be a high priority on simulating characters' imperfect information (describe damage taken only in ways understood by the character), except when there isn't (a successful skill use conclusively reveals an NPC's philosophy, something the PC has no way of knowing in-game).  Combat is a huge departure from real-world information levels, for reasons Adam's already explained.
- The priority regarding experiential simulation in terms of emotion is unclear; this is something that sensible outcomes and character-POV info will help, and high mechanics handling time (if present; I'm not assuming!) will hurt. 
- There is no priority regarding sensation -- we're playing table-top, not LARPing.

Is this an accurate take?  If so, are you comfortable with all of it?

I know you're interested in honing your explanation of the game.  Thinking about it in this manner might help.  Different gamers focus on different elements of "realistic simulation".  Some prefer to observe it, some prefer to feel it, and others demand both.

Familiarity, reference
There's an interesting disjunct between the familiarity given by realistic resolution and the complete unfamiliarity of playing some badass in a partly alien setting.  As a player, I'd be wondering, "What's my frame of reference here?"  What sorts of stories are supposed to come out of this game?  Is there a genre, movie, or book I ought to know?  Do I need to read tons of setting info to know what my character would know, thus informing his decisions?

Play activity
Is this a cooperative game?  If so, what brings the player characters together, keeps them together, and rewards them together?

Combat
The details of the combat system tell me little about the core of what I'd be looking to experience if I played Nevercast.  For players who've never been in a fist-, sword- or gun-fight, "realism" gets pretty abstract.  If I was playing a character who thought the way real people do, I'd probably try to avoid violence anyway.
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here's my blog, discussing Delve, my game in development
Ar Kayon
Member

Posts: 190


« Reply #26 on: February 04, 2010, 05:53:05 AM »

First, I need to highlight some of your points that require clarification in order for me to address properly.

For example, you said,
Quote
There seems to be a high priority on simulating characters' imperfect information
But you follow up with,
Quote
Combat is a huge departure from real-world information levels, for reasons Adam's already explained.Quote
- The priority regarding experiential simulation in terms of emotion is unclear; this is something that sensible outcomes and character-POV info will help, and high mechanics handling time (if present; I'm not assuming!) will hurt.
- There is no priority regarding sensation -- we're playing table-top, not LARPing.On realism<
Quote
a successful skill use conclusively reveals an NPC's philosophy, something the PC has no way of knowing in-gameQuote
Familiarity, reference
There's an interesting disjunct between the familiarity given by realistic resolution and the complete unfamiliarity of playing some badass in a partly alien setting. As a player, I'd be wondering, "What's my frame of reference here?" What sorts of stories are supposed to come out of this game? Is there a genre, movie, or book I ought to know? Do I need to read tons of setting info to know what my character would know, thus informing his decisions?Quote
Is this a cooperative game? If so, what brings the player characters together, keeps them together, and rewards them together?Quote
The details of the combat system tell me little about the core of what I'd be looking to experience if I played Nevercast. For players who've never been in a fist-, sword- or gun-fight, "realism" gets pretty abstract. If I was playing a character who thought the way real people do, I'd probably try to avoid violence anyway.
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David Berg
Member

Posts: 612


« Reply #27 on: February 04, 2010, 12:02:15 PM »

Thanks for the responses.  I have a lot of follow-up questions, but first let me ask: is this useful to you?

I'm trying to figure out why I might want to play this game, and what sort of fun I could expect, and how the play group could come to an agreement on those two things. 

"No specific fictional influences referenced" and "PCs come together to derive mutual benefit from disparate abilities" might cause problems for me in those areas.

On realism:
You seem comfortable with what you've got in terms of outcomes and timing.  You seem to know what you want in terms of the match between (a) information apprehended by the character and (b) information given to the player, and I assume you'll get that finalized just fine.  So I don't have much to contribute here.  Just for the sake of comparison, though, here's an example "realistic" game: "GM describes a simple fictional area in extreme detail, then play begins.  Players stay in-character the whole time.  You can only speak (a) in-character or (b) to describe your character's actions.  The GM describes unfolding events at real-time speed, and their consequences as well.  If the players don't decide and act in the allowed time frame, their characters don't either.  All resolution is handled invisibly by the GMs brain."  So, y'know, there's different flavors of realism out there.  For your pitch, it might be worthwhile to specify which flavor Nevercast is.
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here's my blog, discussing Delve, my game in development
Ar Kayon
Member

Posts: 190


« Reply #28 on: February 04, 2010, 01:03:42 PM »

Your example specifies realism via the meta-game agenda, or social contract.  To clarify, my intention is to specify realism via mechanical simulation, and encompasses the following:

1. Characters' personality and philosophical profiles, as well as their physical and mental makeup (e.g. no umbrella attributes)
2. Skill usage and character development
3. Physics
4. NPC behavior, and to some degree PC behavior (things that the player cannot directly control, such as how their character experiences fear)
5. Setting dynamics (politics, social theory, economics, science and technology, culture, etc.)
6. "Concreteness", to maintain internal logic and to minimize superfluous, subjective interpretations of events.
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Ar Kayon
Member

Posts: 190


« Reply #29 on: February 19, 2010, 08:46:33 PM »

On Stealth
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