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"Iron Game Chef" Lives!

Started by Mike Holmes, October 09, 2002, 04:20:05 PM

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Jonathan Walton

I'm having trouble restraining myself from posting more edible tidbits on the list.  Is that bad form?  Is it proper to serve courses or would you prefer it all at once?  Will too many appetizers spoil you for the dessert?  After all it's all about antici...

Quote from: Random Audience MembersSay it!  Say it!


Seriously, next week I have midterms, so figuring out how I should schedule my time is going to be critical.  If I get the bulk of my game finished over the weekend, would it be okay to post it then, in case I don't have time to spend on it next week?

I humbly seek the judges' opinion.

Iron Chef Ah Q,
currently brewing a savory system of "kick-back" dice pools, GM-player antagonism, player-controlled NPCs, and miniature combat with chess pieces

Mike Holmes

The system simply has to be in this thread by the deadline. This is the only guideline.

Links to other sites are not acceptable, all work must be in this thread (otherwise people might edit stuff after the deadline). Graphics housed elsewhere and referred to in the code are excepted, as in the case of those posted so far (we'll notice any late edits of graphics, and you can't house graphics here, anyhow). That said, I can't say I won't deduct points if you're game is composed of separate disjuncted posts all over the place. A series of posts might work, or links from place to place on the thread. The BBCode and HTML are enough to allow for all the layout stuff you might like, I think. If not, too bad. Everyone is under the same constraints.

Posting early can be a strategy. If you post something before an opponent, and he posts the same thing or something very similar afterwards, certainly he will not get points for Creativity. So there is advantage in that. And an intimidating early post can even discourage opponents into quitting (I've seen that happen), narrowing the field.

OTOH, the more you post early, the better idea your opponents will have as to the level of competition they have to beat. And you might even give them an idea!

So, consider your strategy carefully. Just have your game completely posted here by the deadline. The deadline will be determined by the timestamp on posts, BTW. Any post that has a timestamp that is over the deadline will not be considered. So don't wait until the last second, and blow it!

Member of Indie Netgaming
-Get your indie game fix online.

Jonathan Walton

Quote from: Mike Holmes
Links to other sites are not acceptable, all work must be in this thread (otherwise people might edit stuff after the deadline).


There goes the two hours I spent writing HTML today.  I guess I was just assuming that we'd count on people to be honest and stop working after the deadline.  After all, we're only competing for bragging rights.  Also, if we post everything on this list, it's going to get REALLY long REALLY fast.  I know the stuff I'm developing could easily take up 3-4 pages of posts.

But it's your contest.  Whatever you say is how we'll do it.  I'll just have to spend more time converting my HTML into stuff that'll work on the board...

QuoteThat said, I can't say I won't deduct points if you're game is composed of separate disjuncted posts all over the place. A series of posts might work, or links from place to place on the thread.

I may have to post it in seperate chunks, but I'll alter them so the last post in a series connects to the next chunk.  Hopefully, that'll make things clear enough and easily navigable.  In any case, if a couple people are posting their games at the same time, the posts could easily end up getting mixed, which will be a major pain to read.

Anyway, back to my game...


Mike Holmes

Um, HTML works here, I think.

The other thing is that some people may not have access to other resources than here (I don't want to have to wait around while Geocities tells me that the bandwidth has been used up for a game for a particular hour). It's just simpler if everything is here.

Member of Indie Netgaming
-Get your indie game fix online.

Jonathan Walton

Quote from: Mike HolmesUm, HTML works here, I think.

We'll see.  When I was trying to post the picture earlier, the system didn't like my <img> tags, so I had to switch to BBCode.  But that could have just been something I was doing wrong.

Let me try to post the first chunk and we'll see what happens...


Jonathan Walton


Quote from: Mike HolmesAh-so! Vincent-San has revealed his complete menu first! A bold challenge to his opponents! The menu sounds tantalizing! The only question: will the dishes be well prepared. We shall see!

a bold move indeed! and an intriguing menu it is! still, I prefer to think that half the enjoyment of a meal lies in the presentation, so much as I am tempted to show all assembled the dishes I am preparing, I refrain... for I want to savor the looks of surprise and delight as I serve what I've prepared.

still... it might not harm the surprise were I to gently waft the pleasant odors of the spices in the audience's direction...


    Create Painting
    Add or Intensify Motif
    Purchase Tool
    Critique Painting
    Parody Painting
    Ruin Painting
    Physical Attack
    Flee or Pursue

    Seek Chamber or Character
    Transcend Chamber
    Attack Character or Motif
    Wake Up

    serves 2-4.
John Laviolette
(aka Talysman the Ur-Beatle)
rpg projects:


Quote from: Johnserves 2-4.
Friend, that smells gooooood.


M. J. Young

As one of the judges of the earlier contest, I am watching with interest as this one unfolds.

Coding on these boards is tricky; some of the things I have seen here and done elsewhere I have not been able to do here (marking list items, for example, and I think I gave up trying to do a table once, but it might be possible). Still, the limits imposed are universal; everyone has the same problems, save perhaps Clinton who knows how it all works.

--M. J. Young

Jonathan Walton


Horus version 0.2

The System

The Setting: Akhenaten and the Aten


Social Contract
   How often to meet?
   Who brings what?
   Tone of the game?

Signature Trait

Sample Signatures

Lands of Origin

Setting-Specific Traits

Ka Generation

   Using Traits
   Gaining New Traits
   Testing Traits
   Regaining Trait Points

The Arts
   The Art of War
   The Art of Peace
   The Art of Magic

The Aten
   Trials and Difficulty
   Multiple/Round-Robin Atens


The System

Horus is based on a streamlined, setting-specific version of Signature. For a look at the current version of Signature, go to .

The Setting: Akhenaten and the Aten

During the Eighteenth Dynasty of Ancient Egypt, a Pharoah known as Akhenaten replaced the polytheistic old religion of the creator god Amun and the other gods with the worship of the Aten, or sun disk. This, the world's first foray into monotheism was short-lived in our world, its harsh rejection of the old gods fueling an equally harsh return of the old ways with the death of the Pharoah.

In the world of Horus, Akhenaten did not replace Amun and the old gods with the Aten, but rather incorporated them in a manner similar to Hinduism. The old gods simply became other forms of the Aten. Monotheism took hold, stayed, and prospered, spreading throughout the world along with Egyptian culture and influence.

Now, the year is 2397 Aten. The Egyptian Empire stretches from Britain in the west to Malaysia in the east. The Ka are members of the court of the Horus, or Pharoah to foreigners from the lands of T'ang, Inca Empire, Aztec Empire, and Nippon. The Empire once again stands on the brink of chaos, with corrupt officials, possible rebellions in the provinces, and barbarian Mongols clamoring for a leader, as everyone awaits the rebirth of Tutankhaten, son of Akhnenaten, as he has every six centuries, from an Indian known as Siddharta, to an Israelite known as Yeshua ben-Joseph, to an Arab known as Mohammed. But no savior has come yet...leaving the Ka as the Empire's last, best hope for survival


Antagonist: A character who opposes the Player Characters or Ka.

Aten: This is Horus' name for the GM or Game Master, who arbitrates the game and controls the antagonists who interact and oppose the Player Characters or Ka.

Ka: This is Horus' name for the Player Characters, or the characters that the players control. The plural of Ka is Ka.

Horus: The ruler of the Egyptian Empire, known to foreigners as the Pharoah.

Success: A measure of how well a Ka succeeds at a given task. 1 Success is a minor success, 2 Successes a major success, and 3 Successes a total and complete success.

Trait: This is an ability of a character. It can be a learned skill, an innate ability, a helpful ally -- anything that helps describe a Player Character or Ka.

Social Contract

Before beginning, the Guide(s) and the players should decide what and how the group is going to play: how long and how frequently the group meets, who brings the food and drinks, what kinds of behavior are acceptable and which aren't, whether the game will be serious or silly or somewhere in-between, and how much continuity the game will have (ranging from soap opera to unconnected, one-shot games) -- basically what is expected of everyone socially. This is called a Social Contract in gaming lingo.


The Signature Trait

The Signature Trait is a description of a Ka in a nutshell. Examples include "Spiritual Warrior," "Courtier," and "Priest of Ra."

Sample Signatures

Spiritual Warrior: The Spiritual Warrior relies on the power of animal spirits to supplement his prowress in the martial arts. The Spiritual Warrior's Tut-Ankh (serpent, ram, etc.) determines his fighting style.

Courtier: The Courtier is one of the influential members of the court of the Horus. The Courtier is intelligent, persuasive, and diplomatic.

Priest: The Priest is a servant of one of the gods of Egypt other than the Aten. The Priest receives power over his god's or goddess's domain, determined by his Tut-Ankh.

Magician: The Magician is a person who serves the Aten directly and recieves power over nature from it.

Sophist: The Sophist is a travelling scholar and thinker who offers his advice to influential people, most notably the Horus.

Prophet: A propher is a person who uses his connection to the gods to divine the future.

Lands of Origin

Ka may come from the various regions of the Khemitic Empire, or one of the foreign lands. Ka are encouraged to take Traits that the people of their homeland are famous for having.

Khemetic Empire

Khemet or Egypt to foreigners, is the largest empire in the world. It is divided into North, South, East, West, and Center.

Northern Khemet

Northern Khemetics are known for their skill in rhetoric (debate), winemaking, and self-discipline.

Southern Khemet

Southern Khemetics are known for their skill at archery, stickfighting and grappling.

Eastern Khemet

Eastern Khemetics are known for their skill at mathematics, magic, divination, and prophecy.

Western Khemet

Western Khemetics are known for their skill at sailing, trading, dancing and singing.

Central Khemet

Central Khemetics are known for their riches, close connection with the gods, and masonry.


The people of T'ang are known for their silkmaking, painting, and pottery.


The people of Nippon are known for their swordsmanship, fishing, and archery.


The Inca are known for their runners, weaving, and gold.


The Aztecs are known for their bloodthirstiness, gold, and fighting.


The Mongols are known for their horsemanship, wrestling, and archery.

Setting-Specific Traits

In addition to the Signature Trait, Horus has a number of setting-specific Traits.

Pythagorean: Pythagorean is a number from 1 to 9, inclusive. It determines a Ka's personality, strengths, and flaws.

Tut-Ankh: Tut-Ankh means "living image." A Ka's Tut-Ankh is composed of the god or goddess he serves and the deity's relevant animal or domain. For Spiritual Warriors, Tut-Ankh determines fighting style. For example, a Spiritual Warrior of Bast would have a catlike fighting style.

For Priests, Tut-Ankh determines the limits of magical power -- the Priest only controls things his deity can control. Tut-Ankh has no rating, but rather a description of the deity and its sphere of influence.

Aten-Ka: Aten-Ka is a measure of a Ka's personal power. The higher the Aten-Ka, the wider the influence of the Ka's Signature. For example, a Magician with a low Aten-Ka would be able to turn a staff into a snake, while a Magician with a very high Aten-Ka would be able to call a plague of locusts over an entire land.

Horus: Horus is a measure of a Ka's good reputation both with the Horus (Pharoah) and with the gods.

Bread: Bread is a measure of a Ka's wealth and resources. A common worker would have a low Bread, while a High Priest would have a very high Bread, with the Horus having the highest Bread of all.

Potential:Potential is a measure of how much a Ka's Traits can further develop. A Ka with a low Potential is very well trained and skilled, while one with a high Potential is a talented beginner.

Ka Generation

To generate a Ka, the Player first comes up with a Signature Trait. The Player then rates the other setting-specific Traits from 1 to 1,000,000, with the exception of Pythagorean, which is a number from 1 to 9.

The points of the Traits of each Player's Ka are then summed up. Each Player then receives Potential Trait points equal to the difference between the sum of that Player's Ka's Traits and the sum of the Traits of the Ka with the most points. For example, if the highest player's Ka Traits sum to 300,000 and there are two other Ka whose Traits sum to 100,000 and 50,000 those Ka receive 200,000 Potential and 250,000 Potential respectively.

god/goddess, baliwick and animal
Amon: god of creation; Goose, Ram
Anubis: god of the dead and embalming; Jackal
Bast: goddess of the home, luxuries; Cat
Hathor: goddess of love, dance, alcohol, and foreign lands; Cow
Horus: god of the king; Falcon
Khepri: god of creation; Scarab Beetle
Ra: god of the sun; Hawk
Sekhmet: goddess of vengeance; Lion
Selket: goddess of childbirth; Scorpion
Sobek: god of the four elements (earth, air, fire, and water); Crocodile
Tefnut: goddess of moisture, clouds; Lionness
Thoth: god of wisdom; Ibis/Crane

god/goddess and baliwick
Bes:god of music, good food, and relaxation
Geb: god of the Earth
Isis: goddess of motherhood, marital devotion, healing the sick, and the working of magical spells and charms
Nut: goddess of the Sky
Osiris: god of the dead and resurrection
Set: god of the storm and desert
Shu: god of the atmosphere and dry winds

Pythagorean Trait Descriptions
Success, power, ego, leader, pioneer, dominant, original
Shy, quiet, indecisive, cooperative, gentle, romantic, sympathetic
Joy, versatile, talent, brilliance, wit, charm, pleasure, ambition
Builder, practical, service, solid, organization, content
Travel, anxious, risks, literary, restless, self-indulgent
Romance, sex, wise, understanding, introspective, devoted
Aloof, solitary, dreams, passions, illusions, intuition
Money, position, materialism, greed, persistent, zealous
Selflessness, courage, humanitarian, impulsive, extrovert

Trait ratings
Bread (sample buying power)

Single item or person
Ordinary Person
Outcast (clothes, beer, bread)

Room or small group of people
Local Hero
Peasant (sandals, fish)

Building or large group of people
Famous Person
Worker (meat, desserts)

Grand Master
National Hero/Ruler
Overseer (fancy clothes, perfume)

Priest (jewelry, armor)

High Priest (chariot)

Known Universe
Horus (stable of horses)



Using Traits

To use a Trait, a Player must pay a number of point from the Trait equal to 1/10 the rating of the desired advantage given by the Trait. For example, to get a +3 advantage, the Player must pay 100 points from a Trait.

Gaining New Traits

To gain a new Trait, a Player spends a number of points from his Ka's Potential equal to the rating of the desired Trait. For example, gaining the Trait "Fisherman" at 100 points requires the Player to spend 100 Potential points. There must still be a reasonable explanation for the Ka's Trait, e.g., "My father took me fishing often" for the above Fisherman Trait.

Testing Traits

Testing Traits is Horus' name for using a Trait while it is being resisted by a Antagonist or some other force. When a Trait is Tested, it is compared versus the Trait which is opposing it. If the Trait being used is less than the Trait opposing it, the Ka fails the Test. If the Trait is equal to the Trait opposing it, roll a die. If the result is even, the Ka gains 1 Success; if it is odd, the Ka fails. If the Trait is greater than the Trait opposing it, the Ka gains 1 Success for each x10 the Trait being used is greater than one opposing it, to a maximum of 3.

1 Success indicates minor success, 2 Successes indicate major success, while 3 Successes indicate total and complete success.

Regaining Trait points

If a Trait is used to put a Ka at a disadvantage, the Trait gains back points in that Trait equal to 1/10 the points of the rated disadvantage. For example, if a Trait puts a Ka at a -3 disadvantage, the Trait gets back 100 points.

Facing a Trial gives back points equal to 1/10 the Difficulty each of the parts of the Trial. For example, a Trial with 10 Difficulty 3 opponents gives back 1,000 points to the Trait(s) of the Ka facing it.


Tactics refers to using the environment, the help of people or tools, and extra time, as well as exploiting the opponent's weakness and using the character's strengths to give the acting character a tactical advantage. Tactics give an advantage of 1 to 3 Successes -- 1 for a minor tactical advantage, 2 for a major tactical advantage, and 3 for an overwhelming tactical advantage.


Depending on how well suited a Trait is to the task it is being used for, the Aten may impose a penalty to the Successes given.

If a Trait is perfectly suited to the task (using the Trait "Fisherman" to fish), there is no penalty. If the Trait is closely suited to the task (using the Trait "Fisherman" to swim or sail), there is a -1 Success penalty. If the Trait is poorly suited to the task using the Trait "Spiritual Warrior" to climb a sheer wall due to conditioning from the martial arts), there is a -2 Success penalty. If the Trait is only remotely suited to the task (using the Trait "Spiritual Warrior" to run across water without sinking due to magical abilities gained from intense spiritual training), there is a -3 Success penalty.

Note that this means that Magicians always incur at least a -1 Success penalty from their Tut-Ankh when using magic, since the Aten is not a specialized god.

The Arts

The Art of War: The rules for Art of War covers fighting and combat, be it with bows, spears, swords, fists or what have you.

The Ka tests his revelant Trait for fighting versus his opponent's relevant Trait, and counts the Successes, modified for tactics and suitablity. For 1 Successs, a Ka may stun his opponent, giving him an extra success on the next action, or dodge or block, reducing the opponent's Successes on the next action by 1. For 2 Successes, a Ka may wound his opponent. For 3 Successes, the Ka may kill his opponent or simply knock him out.

For example, a Ka and an Antagonist with the Signatures "Khemitic Soldier" at 100 and armed with spears are facing off. The Aten determines that using a tool (the spears) gives each a +1 Success bonus. The Ka's Player and the Aten each roll a six-sided die. The Player gets an even result, the Aten an odd result. The Player elects to stun his Ka's opponent.

The Player and Aten roll dice again. This time, both the Player and the Aten roll even. The Ka wounds his opponent, who elects to dodge, reducing the Player's next Success by 1.

The Player and Aten roll again. Both roll odd. The Antagonist's dodge is wasted as both opponents circle.

The Player and Aten roll again. The Player rolls odd, while the Aten rolls even. The Antagonist dodges.

Another roll, and both roll even. The Ka thrusts, but the Antagonist dodges and simultaneously stuns the Ka.

Another roll. Both roll even again. The Ka is pressed back and stunned again. Sensing possible death, the Ka throws up his hands in surrender and is captured and taken back to the Antagonist's camp for future exchange.

The Art of Peace:The rules for Art of Peace covers all courtly actions, such as persuasion, seduction, and inspiration.

The Ka describes what he is trying to do to the other character(s.) If the action is covered by his Signature Trait, the Ka gains 1 Success for each x10 of the Trait, modified by suitability, and the Pythagoreans of the Ka and the other character(s.) Suitability imposes a penalty of 0 to -3 Successes, while having an applicable Pythagorean gives +1 Successes each, for the Ka and the other character(s.)

For example, a Ka with the Signature "Khemetic Courtier" at 1,000 and a Pyhtagorean of 4 is trying to persuade the Horus with a Pythagorean of 1 to grant him a favor by appealing to the Horus' ego. The Ka starts with 3 Successes, minus 0 for suitability (as persuading the Horus is perfectly suited to the "Khemetic Courtier" Signature), plus 1 for appealing to the Horus' ego, which is covered by the Pythagorean of 1, plus 0 for the Courtier's Pythagorean of 4, since nothing under a Pythagorean of 4 applies.

The Art of Magic: The rules for Art of Magic covers all supernatural powers and abilities.

To perform magic, a Ka simply describes the effect he wants to occur. If the effect is outside the Ka's Tut-Ankh, the magic fails. The effect is then rated by the Aten for complexity and scale. If the magic is too complex for the Ka's Signature, the magic fails. Likewise, if the magic is too grand for the Ka's Aten-Ka, the magic also fails. Otherwise, the magic succeeds.

For example, a character with the Signature "Khemetic Magician" at 1000 and an Aten-Ka of 10,000 is trying to call a plague of locusts over the whole of the Land of Egypt. The Aten looks at the Signature and notes that the character is a Magician, causing a -1 Success penalty, since the character draws power from the Aten direct and not through a god or goddess. The Aten rules that the character's Signature is thus effectively 100, but rules that this is still enough to cause the effect. The Aten then looks at the character's Aten-Ka. Consulting the chart, the Aten finds that an Aten-Ka of 10,000 is just enough to affect an entire land. Egypt is covered in locusts, ruining the harvest.

The Aten

The Aten controls the Antagonists (the characters who oppose the Ka), as well as the setting and any other obstacles the Ka might encounter.

Trials and Difficulty: A Trial is a challenge to the Ka, either from an Antagonist, a beast, a god, the environment, or anything else that may oppose the Ka. Each part of a Trial (a trap, an obstacle, an Antagonist, etc.) has an associated Difficulty. The Ka Tests his relevant Trait versus that part's Difficulty.

Multiple/Round-Robin Atens: If no one person wishes to shoulder the responsibility of Aten, the Players masy elect to switch roles regularly. Players may also decide to split various aspects of Aten responsibilty among several Aten. For example, two Aten might each control major Antagonists, while a third manages the setting.

Beasts: Mythology is full of mythical beasts and half-human creatures. To create a creature, simply determine what animals compose it, and give it the relevant Tut-Ankhs at the creature's Difficulty. For example, a Sphinx might have Tut-Ankh: Sekhmet(Lion); Horus(Falcon); and Human.

Mike Holmes

Goodness! Walton-San is showing very strong progress!

But wait! Palaskar, a relative unknown, has just displayed what looks to be a complete meal of faux-ancient Egyptian dishes! Out of the blue! Amazing!

And let's not count out John Laviolette-San! He is showing intriguing cooking as well. But playing his menu a bit closer to the chest (to mix a metaphor)! What exactly does he have brewing?!?

The competition is really firing up now!
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