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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 74 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [Supers Chess] preliminary idea  (Read 522 times)
FetusCommander
Member

Posts: 21

also Rudy


« on: March 28, 2010, 09:50:22 PM »

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Kyle Cates
Member

Posts: 5


« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2010, 03:07:12 PM »

I really think this is an interesting mechanic, and I have a couple of questions.

1. What is each player doing when nobody is playing chess?

2. I think you vaguely hinted at special moves for the king. Is this related to character advancement and are other pieces subject to special treatment?
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FetusCommander
Member

Posts: 21

also Rudy


« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2010, 04:36:27 PM »

Thanks for responding Kyle.

#1 is a good question, as I haven't really worked out what, if any mechanics there are for scenes being set up in the game.  What I was thinking is that the action kind of alternates between the board and straight freeform roleplay, basically no stats, just character interactions.

One mechanic I had in mind for coming up with where the scenes occur (and to help with world creation) is the World Map Auction.  Basically, this is a time at the beginning of each session where people go around the table and pose ideas for "spaces" on a World Map, which is sort of like a board game board.  These spaces are things like The Bank, City Hall, The Sewers.  They start at the "city" level and then expand upwards into other parts of the world as the "comic book universe" of play becomes larger. 

Players get to move a certain number of spaces on the world map, and may land on a space they "own"- one they've purchased and defined in the World Map Auction- or one owned by someone else.  I was thinking that in a case where you land on someone else's space, they act in a GM role and frame the scene, and the Chess challenges for your Super.  I figure the narration can go around the table from space to space, cutting in and out after short periods of time to give it the feel of actual frames in a comic strip ("Meanwhile...").  If more than one Super is present on a space, they get to involve themselves with the other one, and the space owner might frame a conflict, meeting or some other intrigue.

Having only played 1 Narrative game (Jason Morningstar's "Grey Ranks"), I'm unsure what kind of technique would be best to spread the spotlight and make sure scenes don't become too bogged.  Does any of that stuff above sound interesting?  Anyone have any suggestions for a narrative mechanic that would help keep the game flowing while simulating comic structure?

To answer the second question, the King's special movement is auctioned for in the beginning of the game as well.  Essentially, it has to be some form of limited movement that involves a range of 4 consecutive spaces.  So you could make him into a more powerful knight, make him able to move in one direction for four spaces, or even use something similar to the default king movement (1 space in 4 directions).  This movement isn't related to character advancement.

Pawns also get special movement, in that they can move in any direction, but only capture diagonally.  You can also use pawns to retrieve your lost pieces if you move across the board from the opposite side (you have to start all the way on the end though).  I guess as an example, think of something like a Super's squeeze helping out his or her cape in a time when they're weakened by the baddy, and some conventional solution becomes necessary to get them back on their feet.
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FetusCommander
Member

Posts: 21

also Rudy


« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2010, 12:34:48 PM »

To pose some questions that might be a little bit more accessible than the couple walls I posted:

How do you guys associate the mechanics of the superhero-themed games you've played with the actual conflicts going on?  Do they ever "feel" like what's going on in the game?

For me, I've really only dealt with "freeform" (no mechanical conflicts) play in the superhero genre, because the types of conflicts, which always seem to border on the outlandish, just don't feel right when put to most resolution systems like dice.  It seems disappointing and without situational tension.  I think for me it's something about the quantification of powers, as that's sort of why I designed this system. 

I don't really like the idea of resolutions being objectively lost/won when they involve what I traditionally think of as a "super" (basically, someone who is the star of their own show, and who's interactions are mainly to entertain).  My main goal with a lot of Super's Chess is to accomplish resolutions that feel meaningful and defining in the character sense, feel tense and maneuverable in the mechanical sense, but don't feel "final" or roleplay-limiting.

To connect that to some tangible play example, I guess what I want is for people to be able to say "My king has been locked into checkmate, but all this other stuff happened/is happening on the board, and that's cool."
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Mobius
Member

Posts: 46


« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2010, 01:42:48 PM »

It is an interesting idea.  How do you decide what powers equal what pieces?
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Mobius a.k.a Charles
FetusCommander
Member

Posts: 21

also Rudy


« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2010, 01:59:41 PM »

Essentially, that's for the players the pick.  In the mini-playtest I ran, most people assigned powers that were half strategic, half thematic.  I used my knight for my vehicle, one guy used a rook for rifle, another used his strong, mobile pieces (queen and rooks, if I remember) to represent powers like regeneration that he wanted to keep in play.
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