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Author Topic: Resultion via situational advantages  (Read 343 times)
Llogres
Member

Posts: 16


« on: April 01, 2010, 07:33:59 AM »

I currently work on something thats more setting than actual system, and here is a thought that i need to share and have a few questions about:
The idea is to have a conflict resolution influenced by character advantages/disadvantages.
A character is defined by 'Traits' that can be either an advantage, disadvantage or either depending on a given situation.
A few example what these Traits could look like:
- Good eyesight
- Good driver (motorcycle)
- Bad driver (car)
- Speaks and writes Russian
- Knows how to hack computers
- Exceptionally tall
I made these up on the spot so they are not really thought through... Well now to put those Traits into use an easy example:
The character with the above Traits is looking for clues about a secret project in some office which he just aquired access to. So the GM sets up a value how difficult it should be to get some information, and now the player tries to roll over this value with his dice, lets say a d6 (which would be the same for every roll).
Since having a good eyesight helps a lot and the computer is locked with a password, these two advantages grant him a bonus on finding usefull information. The GM decides that his good eyesight just gives him a slight advantage (+1) but beeing able to hack computers really helps a lot, which means he will grant a +3 for that. As long as the player has any good explanation why a certain Trait should be usefull he should at least be allowed to add +1 for having it to his roll. There could be some sort of agreement process between player and GM. So well, after the player and GM know which Traits are an advantage the player rolls his dice, adds his bonus (in this case +4) and compares it with the Difficulty given by the GM.
Depending on the difference between the Roll and the Difficulty the GM decides the outcome of the whole situation. The player succeeds quite well and finds his secret information in some encrypted part of the computer or he fails and cant find anything because he isnt even able to get access to the computer (or getting access doesnt help because he can't find anything).

Now to my questions:
Are there any games out there that have similar systems?
Is it a good idea to let the GM decide what happens or should the player do that (or should it depend on the outcome of the roll)? I mainly ask this because i got no real experience in games that give narration rights to players when it's about the actual outcome of an action, so you might easily help me out here by sharing experiences.
Do you think a game based on that idea would be 'good' or fun to play? (from GM and player perspective)

Thanks,
Chris
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Chris
Ar Kayon
Member

Posts: 190


« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2010, 07:54:54 AM »

This style would certainly be fast and conducive to narration-based gameplay.  Personally, I have a severe animosity towards narrative task-resolution modalities (too simple), but if you can make fun narration mechanics that don't seem arbitrary, then generalized resolution methods actually enhance the experience.

I fully anticipate vigorous resistance from the members here against my previous statement.

Since you brought up the subject of narration rights, I'm only assuming that you want to focus on narration.  If that is the case, then I would much rather see your ideas on narration mechanics than task resolution mechanics.  In that respect, I think giving players narration rights is the best solution for this type of play.
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Ar Kayon
Member

Posts: 190


« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2010, 08:01:14 AM »

To give you an example of what I mean, check out Sebastian Hickey's Hell for Leather.  So far, it is the best representation I've seen on this style of gaming.
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FetusCommander
Member

Posts: 21

also Rudy


« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2010, 12:34:51 PM »

While I mostly agree with Ar Kayon as far as certain narration-based mechanics, I think these mechanics could actually become pretty complex depending on how much GM responsibility the players are given.  I like the overall system, and the traits you used in your example seem like they could make for interesting in-play arguments over what should get bonuses (the system has to be constrained enough to stop those arguments from getting out of hand though, maybe delineating GM powers could help with that ). 

Is this for a realistic setting or a more fantastical one?  In the case of a non-realistic game world, I can see a whole field of mechanics (and maybe even some sort of parlor game) developing around "can I use this trait to do this?"  Is that a goal of the system?

Personally, I think this game would be more fun from the perspective of the player, but only because the GM will have to make tough calls about traits quite a bit depending on what people pick.  Is it constrained by the session's set up?  Does the list of traits evolve/expand as the session goes on, or based on success/failure?
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Llogres
Member

Posts: 16


« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2010, 07:50:57 PM »

While I mostly agree with Ar Kayon as far as certain narration-based mechanics, I think these mechanics could actually become pretty complex depending on how much GM responsibility the players are given.
First off, thank you both for your good answers, i think narration-based mechanics seem too obvious to ignore, thats the most likely thing i will go with anyway.
My aim is to keep it quite easy and not end up with a complex system, i still try to figure out how to hand the responsibilies.

I like the overall system, and the traits you used in your example seem like they could make for interesting in-play arguments over what should get bonuses (the system has to be constrained enough to stop those arguments from getting out of hand though, maybe delineating GM powers could help with that ). 
In a few afterthoughts i thought about limiting the maximung ammount of traits that can be used for a single situation. That would help prevent discussions with players that try to implement each and every Trait in every Situation. It would as well encourage players to break down big Situations into smaller ones. Instead of "I try to kill the villain" they might try to get an advantage over hirm first, like disarming him or dealing a few nonlethal blows. I would like to encourage that kind of break down into smaller actions to keep things interesting and not too dependant on a single dice roll.

Is this for a realistic setting or a more fantastical one?  In the case of a non-realistic game world, I can see a whole field of mechanics (and maybe even some sort of parlor game) developing around "can I use this trait to do this?"  Is that a goal of the system?
The setting is basicly realistic but has a few superhero-game aspects in it, but no over the top powers, since all that makes it different from a realistic game are those powers i thought about handling them a little different anyway, but if it turns out the Trait-system can handle the powers as well i might be even happier.

Is it constrained by the session's set up?  Does the list of traits evolve/expand as the session goes on, or based on success/failure?
The players will start without any traits and when they go on through the course of the first few adventures they will bring traits into play. For example a player that describes his character for the first time might give him the 'tall' and 'muscular' Traits. But only a few adventures later it might come up that he has a military background and knows how to handle a gun. I want to get rid of a big character generation process and players to be able to surprise other players by bringing in helpfull traits (either by revealing something about the past of the character or learning new things).

I just dont know how to handle 'giving out Traits'. It is easy to see that different Traits have different values. Some might be broader than others, or simply be used more frequently because of the given adventure. I thought about giving something like Unknown Background Points that can be used to buy Traits. The more Unknown Background Points a character would have the more about his past would be unknown. Little Points mean the players know a lot about this character and he is well defined by traits.
But what happens when a character runs out of Background?
Should he be able to acquire points and why?
I could definetly need some help with these questions...

Chris
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Chris
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