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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 86 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Re: The Social Domain - why's it so tough to design?  (Read 1675 times)
dindenver
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« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2010, 07:10:22 AM »

SW,
  The thing to bear in mind with Exalted is, the social combat system is complex and very crunchy. BUT, it is no more complex or substantially different from regular combat, which is also complex and very crunchy.

  There are many games that do this and do it well. Shadow of Yesterday is another. The mechanics for Social Combat are identical. And those rules are not so complex.

  Regardless, good luck with your design.
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Dave M
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Silverwave
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« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2010, 07:57:25 AM »


I think a good system should be developed on the basis that it's used to resolve a conflict...regardless of what that conflict may be.

This is also what I think. True that most of the "popular" games tend to "patch something" to fit with social challenges instead of designing one system-fits all. On the other hand, it would feel kind of wierd having to loose HP when failing a haggle test or the like. Then, if you HPs are more like "Resolve points" then it makes more sense.

I've posted earlier something to do with WHFRP 3, I've design a little "sub-system" from the tools the designer gave to us and it works pretty well the same as any skill test in the game, even combat. Still, combat have specific rules and still feel more fun to play. Take D&D 4 for example, the combat system is so much fun and takes so much place that in the end you just feel like verything else is dull and want to bring any encounter into a fight just to have the most fun out of the system. That is something to be avoided! Like you said, if the system is the same for every task resolution, it souldn't be more fun to say convince the orc he can't win this fight than to kill him.

The exalted 2 social combat rules were, indeed, complex, but yes like dindenver said, it replicates the "normal combat" system. So you learn one, you know the other. It's still too complex for my needs. I do like the idea of "making a social attack" that do "social damage" though.

I've designed a system were every challenge works with the same system, from climbing to fighting to persuading. Failed test make you lose "Resolve" (a kind of HP pool that are not actual wounds, but more like determination and will) with any check. Still, It lacked finess of more extended systems.

Well, seems like I'm back at the initial question : What's the best way to run social challenges.
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dindenver
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« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2010, 10:35:56 AM »

Quote
Well, seems like I'm back at the initial question : What's the best way to run social challenges.
Well, there are two ways to go about it (I think):
1) Design a resolution system that is universal. You can see this in ditv, pta, tsoy, DC Heroes, etc.
2) Design a more trad system, use it for social domain and inflict a penalty on all actions that are contrary to the lost social contest. For instance, if you fail to resist a bluff check in D&D by 2 points, then you are at -2 to all your actions that are against what the bluff was convincing you to do.
  Neither is more superior. But each approaches the problem from a completely different play style.

  Good luck with your design.
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Dave M
Author of Legends of Lanasia RPG (Still in beta)
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Noclue
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« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2010, 12:00:04 PM »

Well, seems like I'm back at the initial question : What's the best way to run social challenges.
What's the best way to design run a sword fight?
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James R.
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« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2010, 04:27:05 PM »

The best way to design rules for social conflicts and challenges is to think about social action in the real world. What can people win from each other through social action alone? What are the costs? How do you go about socially dominating someone? How do you protect yourself from social domination?

Design rules to do those things, and to make those consequences real in the game.

-Vincent
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Locke
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« Reply #20 on: April 19, 2010, 10:40:54 AM »

another thing to think about is why do you need a social interaction system?  most build mechanics allow characters to choose some type of social skills.  the player then roleplays his view and rolls the skills when appropriate.  This is how i made my system work, and its fine.  I don't think you need a mechanic that does this.  I think its nice that mouse guard (burning wheel) does the plan three moves thing, but any system can do this or a similar thing if its outlined in rules.

exhaulted turns social interaction into social combat.  which isn't exactly the same thing.  They have included a mechanic that allows one person to attack another one socially.  meaning if a nerd faces a fighter the nerd could conceivably defeat the fighter by talking him into submission (assuming the nerd could survive one round of combat as he won't win initiative).
 
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Jeff Russell
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« Reply #21 on: April 19, 2010, 11:31:49 AM »

Well, seems like I'm back at the initial question : What's the best way to run social challenges.

Well, I think one important factor that can be modeled into mechanics but doesn't necessarily need to is "social context". What I mean is that in a lot of fighting oriented games, like D&D or WHFRP, the only characters we're used to thinking about are our guy, his buddies in the party, and maybe the NPCs that tell us to do things or hatch nefarious schemes or the like. Obviously that's a gross exaggeration, but my main point is that a lot of what makes social interaction vivid and exciting is, well, the society. I think players will invest more in social interactions when they have a better idea of who their guy is socially. WHFRP I think does a pretty good job of giving you some background with it's lifepaths (does it still do that? I'm going off a waaaay old copy that I read years back, so maybe the new edition is totally different). So, whatever mechanics you end up with, maybe make sure your players know who their characters' family is, what kind of people they hung out with before they started going on zany adventures, maybe even why they stick around with these other people besides their combat effectiveness. I think all of that information will help propel them into having more "real" conversations and social interactions in the game.

But a good mechanic can't hurt, either.

Jeff Russell
Blessings of the Dice Gods - My blog about games and game design
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Jeff Russell
Blessings of the Dice Gods - My Game Design Blog and home to my first game, The Book of Threes
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