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Author Topic: MAYA the RPG<<Seeking constructive criticism  (Read 4203 times)
whoknowswhynot
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Posts: 55

MAYA the RPG


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« on: January 19, 2010, 08:23:52 PM »

I have returned with my game, now called "MAYA", to be offered suggestions, criticism and hopefully some people that would be willing to playtest it.  I am working on the website probably as you are reading this.  I have incomplete "MAYA Basic" information up right now, but more than enough for you to pick up on and start messing with it.

http://mayatherpg.webs.com/

Keep in mind, "MAYA" is a little more complicated than MAYA Basic in that there are attributes and such, but I am still working on a character sheet.  This will be uploaded to the sight as a .PDF very soon and the rules for MAYA will be uploaded in their complete form.

MAYA is on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/MAYA-the-RPG/222105103495

I am "Scott" on the page if'n you need another facebook friend.  I don't post hourly twitter updates on there.

Please let me know what you think about MAYA!  I am totally open to constructive criticism.  Thanks in advance!
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We are equal beings and the universe is our relations with each other. The universe is made of one kind of entity: each one is alive, each determines the course of his own existence.
Ar Kayon
Member

Posts: 190


« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2010, 03:47:32 AM »

I see you're into eastern philosophy.  A cosmic journey rpg sounds really cool, and I would like to see you polish it up.  What types of scenarios will the players find themselves in, and how will the system allow them to tackle conflicts, or overcome attachments?
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whoknowswhynot
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Posts: 55

MAYA the RPG


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« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2010, 07:13:00 AM »

Quote
I see you're into eastern philosophy.
I sort of stumbled into it backwards.  I just did a LOT of thinking and read a few books.  Everything sort of pointed me that direction personally.

Quote
A cosmic journey rpg sounds really cool
Thank you!  One of my first books was "The Cosmic Book" by Itzhak Bentov and Mirtala Bentov.  I thought it was an original idea, but who am I kidding?  I later found the games "Kult" and "Ultima IV" are very similar.  I was influenced by "Call of Cthulhu" in that, what exactly does it mean to be insane and why can't I play a permanently insane character?!

Quote
What types of scenarios will the players find themselves in
Depending on the setting and the character, they may be fighting against a tyranical government of some sorts, Fighting against their own worst nightmares in deep space, they might be caught up in crazy adventures fighting against the illuminati, learning about a cult that worships some strange dark chaos god, who knows.  Basically, the characters learn secret knowledge and battle dark forces trying to hide the secret knowledge.  The characters may wish to impart this knowledge to others to try and improve conditions in their world (kinda like in "underground").  I guess the system is kinda compatible with the "Star Wars" universe too.

Quote
how will the system allow them to tackle conflicts, or overcome attachments?
This is a difficult question and a simple one at the same time.  It is an easy answer, but difficult to actually do.  It takes time.  Get your ego points low enough and you are able to work miracles, automatically succeed at tasks or at least have a 10% chance of failure or less and other cool stuff.  Think of MAYA as very similar to Call of Cthulhu, but you are already insane and you have to lose your insanity points (attachments, actions, memories, physical body, astral body, etc. etc.).  The system itself is not anything spectacular in that it is the usual d10 roll above character's "ego level".  Now ego level is determined by ego points which number anywhere from -300 to +300.  These are lost and gained in a manner similar to sanity points in Call of Cthulhu, only if you see a deep one or whatever, you gain ego points (Bad memories, nightmares, Horror).  Gain enough and your ego level raises and you might go from being an open-minded mystic shaman to a resentful and confused one.  Personality-wise characters have the Personality Matrix to use.  Modifying their behaviors will automatically reduce their ego.  I guess meditation, is another way.  Drugs (Just kidding), religion, adventuring, exploring....

Personality Matrix:
>>>----------------high ego this way!------------>>
Trusting   O O O O O O O O O O  Paranoid
Honest   O O O O O O O O O O  Dishonest
Humble   O O O O O O O O O O  Arrogant
Tolerant   O O O O O O O O O O  Hateful
Carefree   O O O O O O O O O O  Controlling
Heroic   O O O O O O O O O O  Cowardly
Wise   O O O O O O O O O O  Zealous
Relaxed   O O O O O O O O O O  Frantic
Objective   O O O O O O O O O O  Judgemental
Fulfilled   O O O O O O O O O O  Empty
>>>-----------------high ego this way!------------>>
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We are equal beings and the universe is our relations with each other. The universe is made of one kind of entity: each one is alive, each determines the course of his own existence.
Ar Kayon
Member

Posts: 190


« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2010, 08:41:32 AM »

For a fun thought experiment, I considered how I would adapt my engine to your game's concept.  Here's what I came up with:
1. My 12 attributes would be replaced with your personality matrix.  So instead of Strength, you have something like Compassion.
2. My skill set would be replaced with various bodhisattva disciplines.
3. So let's say your player was a Vietnamese monk, and you wanted to use the skill "Self Immolation".  You would compare your Relaxed attribute to the difficulty of murdering yourself in an excrutiatingly heinous and painful way, so let's give it a 10.  The GM doesn't tell you it's a 10, but you can safely assume this is an extremely difficult feat to accomplish.  Your attribute is 7, so you decide to tap into your Concentration effort pool by meditating, which allows you to apply the randomizer (exploding 1d4-1).  You roll a natural 4 (+3), so add another roll on top of it, which gave you another 2, therefore 7+3+2=12 meaning you pass with a moderate effect.  Looking at the effects table for Self-Immolation, it says you wince and grunt a bit from the pain (attachment to self-preservation), but you let go before the end, maintain your lotus position, and burn to a crisp gracefully.
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Ar Kayon
Member

Posts: 190


« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2010, 08:48:08 AM »

4. Humoring myself further, along with attribute development points, should you fail an important check, you'll earn Ego points, which subtracts points and can cause your attributes to go back down.
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Ar Kayon
Member

Posts: 190


« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2010, 09:09:43 AM »

5. Expounding even further, if we want to explore the concepts of right action, right speech, right understanding, etc., then we can add a strategic element to the way you utilize your skills.  Let's say someone is attacking the integrity of your wife.  You know she's wrong/lying/in denial.  Now, you can try to settle things by using a skill based on Objectivity, but your wife will probably resent you for it so your attribute is -2 in this situation.  It would be far better to use a skill based on the Heroic attribute, and stick up for her when her character is being trashed (+2 because it appeals right understanding: understanding her emotional needs).  And then afterwards, between you two in private, you may objectively work it out as she'll be more receptive.
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William Patrick
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« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2010, 10:06:07 AM »

I like the ego table, I was wondering if you were going to offer more paths to it, seeing as it only branches off two ways.
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whoknowswhynot
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MAYA the RPG


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« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2010, 11:23:18 PM »

Quote
I like the ego table, I was wondering if you were going to offer more paths to it, seeing as it only branches off two ways.

I'm thinking you are refering to the Action and Reaction part of the table.  If so, thanks!  I spent way too much time perfecting this, and Yes I do have many different interpretations for the ego roll.  Check out these:

http://omnirpg.webs.com/taskresolution.htm
(MAYA used to be called OMNI)

Quote
For a fun thought experiment, I considered how I would adapt my engine to your game's concept.  Here's what I came up with:
1. My 12 attributes would be replaced with your personality matrix.  So instead of Strength, you have something like Compassion.

2. My skill set would be replaced with various bodhisattva disciplines.

This is really interesting!  I think I should point out now, cause I havent posted it on the website yet that there are several things that make up the character's ego:

Physical Abilities
1-10 each all totaling 0 to 100
Fitness - Muscle Memory, Agility, Toughness, Strength
Senses - Awareness, Intuition, Perception, 6th sense
Hands - Hand-eye Coordination, Fine motor skills, Aim
Mind - Retained Knowledge, IQ, Trivia, Experience
Cool - Sanity, Chi, Luck, Willpower, Pain Threshold
Charm - Diplomacy, Influence, Likeability, Attractiveness
Rank - Position, Resources, Credit, Allies, Power
Stuff - Money, Territory, Posesseions, Equipment
Looks - Appearance, Symmetry, Genetics, Quality
Fame - Reputation, Popularity, Reputation, Infamy

Personality Matrix
1-10 each all totalling -100 to 0
Trusting   O O O O O O O O O O  Paranoid
Honest   O O O O O O O O O O  Dishonest
Humble   O O O O O O O O O O  Arrogant
Tolerant   O O O O O O O O O O  Hateful
Carefree   O O O O O O O O O O  Controlling
Heroic   O O O O O O O O O O  Cowardly
Wise   O O O O O O O O O O  Zealous
Relaxed   O O O O O O O O O O  Frantic
Objective   O O O O O O O O O O  Judgemental
Fulfilled   O O O O O O O O O O  Empty

Physical Penalties
1-10 each (start at 10) totalling 0 to 100
TOX - poison
VIR - viral
BAC - bacteria
ACD - acid
RAD - radiation
HOT - heat
SUS - food/water
DMG - damage/pressure
CLD - cold
AGE - age

Metaphysical Penalties
1-10 each (Start at 10) totalling -100 to 0
Telekinesis - move things
Telepathy - communicate/share
Intuition - know things
SUggestion - manipulate
Creation - bring forth something from nothing
Alteration - slightly affect something's nmbers
Hurt - cause pain, damage
Change - change something into something else
Restore - change something back/heal someone
Protection - protect from being hurt or manipulated

Early Life Experiences

(I have a lifepath generator like in Cyberpunk but not nearly as detailed for this part.  This can yield a number fro 0 to 100)

Adult experiences
There is no limit on these, but the total should be from -100 to 0
(These are more for in game play, but can be modified during character creation as well)
Hang-ups - Socio/political and religious sore spots.
Trauma - Horrible car wrecks, massive head wounds etc.
Horror - Things that measely little humanoids were not meant to know...
Phobias - Mundane irrational fears like knives and needles
Other - Reserved for random stuff that just does not fit in with the others.

So you got a powerful guy with physical abilities of like 70, horrible personality so like -30 (70 - 100 = -30), completely mortal +100, -0 no metaphysical bonuses, +75 bad childhood, and 75 for adult experiences that are not typical = like 289 or something (I'm tired!!) which is ego level 10 "insane"

The rest is just silly stuff and combat rules that I am just not sure about...



Quote
3. So let's say your player was a Vietnamese monk, and you wanted to use the skill "Self Immolation".  You would compare your Relaxed attribute to the difficulty of murdering yourself in an excrutiatingly heinous and painful way, so let's give it a 10.  The GM doesn't tell you it's a 10, but you can safely assume this is an extremely difficult feat to accomplish.  Your attribute is 7, so you decide to tap into your Concentration effort pool by meditating, which allows you to apply the randomizer (exploding 1d4-1).  You roll a natural 4 (+3), so add another roll on top of it, which gave you another 2, therefore 7+3+2=12 meaning you pass with a moderate effect.  Looking at the effects table for Self-Immolation, it says you wince and grunt a bit from the pain (attachment to self-preservation), but you let go before the end, maintain your lotus position, and burn to a crisp gracefully.

That's awesome!  In MAYA, this would not be the end for a character, but this could almost be an example of play in some setting/situation.  I think...


Quote
4. Humoring myself further, along with attribute development points, should you fail an important check, you'll earn Ego points, which subtracts points and can cause your attributes to go back down.

Correctomundo!  That's the ticket.  There is a risk with failure in that you feel bad about yourself or resentment that others can and  you can't or whatever.


Quote
5. Expounding even further, if we want to explore the concepts of right action, right speech, right understanding, etc., then we can add a strategic element to the way you utilize your skills.  Let's say someone is attacking the integrity of your wife.  You know she's wrong/lying/in denial.  Now, you can try to settle things by using a skill based on Objectivity, but your wife will probably resent you for it so your attribute is -2 in this situation.  It would be far better to use a skill based on the Heroic attribute, and stick up for her when her character is being trashed (+2 because it appeals right understanding: understanding her emotional needs).  And then afterwards, between you two in private, you may objectively work it out as she'll be more receptive.

This is an interesting take on the game and social dynamics that I never thought of applying skills to, but they are skills aren't they?  Still trying to hone my own skills.  ;^)  This is really interesting here.  I need to let this sink in...  Thanks for all the feedback!  Seeking even more!
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We are equal beings and the universe is our relations with each other. The universe is made of one kind of entity: each one is alive, each determines the course of his own existence.
Ar Kayon
Member

Posts: 190


« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2010, 01:56:34 AM »

In that case, I would like to make a critique.  Although I don't know yet the exact intentions of your game, I think I have a conceptual grasp of what you're trying to do, but please correct me if I'm inaccurate.  It seems to me that combat rules, or an emphasis on combat, seem out of place for this game.  Think about it: the more your ego drops, the less combat becomes likely.  In my opinion, if there is combat at all, it would be best to generalize it so that the player may approach it from a role-playing stance rather than a boardgame/tactician stance. 

Take note that this is coming from someone who has developed an elaborate combat system and loves that aspect of play.

So, let's say your character studied at Shaolin Temple, and someone tries to mug you on the street.  If you decide to fight him off, do you pull out your gun and shoot him, or do you subdue him with your martial arts skills?  Naturally, the former will be easier, but you'll accumulate tons of ego.  You'll accumulate much less ego should you choose the latter, but it would require a much higher Heroic attribute to pull off.  Now let's say you don't pull it off with that much success or you fail minorly, then a struggle ensues and you roll again, or you get hurt or both get hurt and the mugger runs off.  You can keep trying to subdue him, but instead of taking any further risks, you can also use your deadly poison palm technique and just end the fucker for massive ego points.
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whoknowswhynot
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MAYA the RPG


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« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2010, 07:13:51 AM »

Quote
In my opinion, if there is combat at all, it would be best to generalize it so that the player may approach it from a role-playing stance rather than a boardgame/tactician stance. 


That's my critique as well!  At least for a long time it was!  About a year ago, I posted a power 19 about this... it was called OMNI before.  Someone else said the same thing.  I, too, have questioned it's inclusion in the rules (I have devised an alternative 'quick and dirty' combat system inspired by The Riddle of Steel's combat system).  I made the command decision to include combat rules or maybe "tactical rules" so as to not limit the character's actions anymore (the whole ego thing is a big enough limitation on them) and to, more importantly, allow players to play a character that is, well, kinda bad even.  Or at least to be able to play a character that stays at ego level 8 (for instance)~just like in real life.  There are some who move that direction (as it is our true purpose to do so) and there are many others that don't.  The illusions ARE kinda nice sometimes.  This is where I have kinda been working on (off and on for a while) a list of organizations that cover this.  For example: the Galactic Federation is one that is devoted to unity, but not perfect unity according to all the sentient beings that they give ultimatums to (the USA being one of them according to conspiracy theories).  the Illuminati are those that get power from demons and have High ego, but get all the worldy benefits, the tradeoff is they got demons runnin' all through 'em.  Parasites are those that latch onto a physical being from "beyond" to steal their energy and to give them their ego, just enough to exist on their own current level.  I have others too, I just can't think of them all.

All of this is not so that I can include combat (I also enjoy Warhammer and rpg combat systems) and combat was not just thrown in because rpgs have combat in them.  It's in there because combat is a matter of fact in life.  In fact, I went even further with this last year to start working on duh duh DUUUHH! Wargame rules.  I know... sounds really bad in a game about enlightenment or whatever you want to call it, but consider this:  the game is ultimately about chaos (duality/opposing sides) versus unity.  This means that on some level, there is eternal spiritual warfare going on.  I placed this happening at the zero point.  That's why it's a dangerous crossroads.  Kind of like in Star Wars when it's easy to be tempted by the power of the dark side.  If you think about it in this way, it makes sense that there would be combat rules.  I just want them to be streamlined and lean towards role-playing and narrative descriptions (and very deadly because life is fragile).
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We are equal beings and the universe is our relations with each other. The universe is made of one kind of entity: each one is alive, each determines the course of his own existence.
Spooky Fanboy
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Posts: 585


« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2010, 05:27:28 PM »

I think my only critique is that I would definitely include a setting, with a way to "unbolt" the mechanics from the standard setting to another one. You have an interesting idea, and the mechanics seem like they will support what you're trying to do, but there's no way to anchor the players unless you have a setting to showcase these ideas.

Still, with enough playtesting and continuous evaluation, you may well end up with the game that does for journeys of spiritual enlightenment what Sorcerer does for deals with the devil.
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Spooky Fanboy
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« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2010, 05:33:25 PM »

Also, I see you have rough descriptors of what your life is like at various Ego levels. That's a good start, but they look a little specific to KULT for me. Unless you are going for a battle against the Demiurge, you may want to include descriptions more pertinent to your basic setting.

And be sure to stress to people who are making their homebrew settings that defining how Ego Levels look in that game world is one of the most important part of setting creation. If you have that information, the rest of the details will fall into place.
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whoknowswhynot
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MAYA the RPG


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« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2010, 08:11:27 PM »

Quote
I think my only critique is that I would definitely include a setting, with a way to "unbolt" the mechanics from the standard setting to another one.
Maybe I should aproach the descriptions as if they are a scientist's observations. This could be more easily adapted to any character regardless of the setting.  That's what I guess I would like at least.  If I am misunderstanding you, please give me an example.  I would appreciate that.

Originally, I was developing a fantasy/low tech setting, but my continued interest in sci-fi made that difficult as I was trying to create an "ALIEN"-like universe too.  I have since decided they are in the same universe just light years apart.  It would almost be like space opera and unfortunately now that "AVATAR" is out, [hopefully] not too much like that.  Maybe just a matter of writing the descriptions which I totally admit are lame and kinda stream-of-consciousness/copy & paste from old notes (some of which were directly from KULT).  I am a HUGE Kult fan even though I never have played the game one time.  I bought the book, someone stole it.  Bought it again and lost it (probably stolen again) and years later, I just got a .pdf version (let them try to steal that!).  I then came to realize that KULT had similar mechanics and just threw in some of the rules there to compare notes more or less.  They fit almost exactly with what I was aiming for, but the developers of KULT knew what they were doing better than I and they said it better than I can.  My writing style is a little hard for some people to read so I copy and paste stuff A LOT, but this is only for the early development stages.  I can eventually brush things up and put them into my own words.

Quote
And be sure to stress to people who are making their homebrew settings that defining how Ego Levels look in that game world is one of the most important part of setting creation. If you have that information, the rest of the details will fall into place.
Maybe what would make this a lot easier is to somehow break it all down like Gurps does with a Planetary worksheet or something.  Any ideas?
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We are equal beings and the universe is our relations with each other. The universe is made of one kind of entity: each one is alive, each determines the course of his own existence.
whoknowswhynot
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MAYA the RPG


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« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2010, 08:12:48 PM »

By the way, thanks for the compliments!  They are much appreciated and much needed!
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We are equal beings and the universe is our relations with each other. The universe is made of one kind of entity: each one is alive, each determines the course of his own existence.
Ar Kayon
Member

Posts: 190


« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2010, 09:19:15 PM »

The marriage of humans to machines (implants, prosthetics, nanomachines, network interfaces etc.) could play a pivotal role, or obstacle, to a player's quest for enlightenment.  And what about AI?  If they have the same capacities for abstract thought as humans, is it possible for them to attain enlightenment too?  How cool would it be to climb the mountains of Tibet only to find out that the sage meditating at the summit is a robot?
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