*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
September 29, 2020, 04:43:15 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 217 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: [1] 2
Print
Author Topic: Ygg mechanic-less rules?  (Read 4435 times)
Christoffer Lernö
Member

Posts: 822


« on: October 15, 2002, 02:24:12 AM »

In this thread I tried to look at rules that could work with prose. Since Ygg has hard mechanics (as C. Edwards termed it) there has to be a bridge between that and the fuzzy rules (another C. Edward term :) ).

Chris and I was talking on #indie_ooc today (RPunkG was also there) and I think we got something out of it.

I was getting back to the Old Forest problem to illustrate what I was looking for. Here's what I wrote (slightly edited):

A forest is described as "Energy Sapping" even though there is no such ability described in the rulebook, so the GM decides what it means finally translating it to mechanic effects if so desired.

The same mechanics would also apply to magic systems: Let's say we have a system (this is just an example, not how Ygg works!) which declares "when you cast magic you get tired, the more powerful the spell, the more tired you get".

Usually this is backed up by mechanics quantifying what each spell has in endurance loss and stuff but what if all we needed from the system was the description and mechanics could be adjusted to fit with that system?

Maybe the GM says "Oh, you cast a powerful spell, that will make you  mighty tired" (note that the GM isn't looking up a table here). No real reference what "mighty tired" means at this point.

Now what does tired mean?
Well the GM can now invoke the keyword "mighty tired" against an action later on.

One could throw it to the actual mechanics. Something like: "oh you're tired so for your fighting rolls I rule that you get a disadvantage"

What me might run into as a potential problem, is that another GM will have a different standard for what "tired" means and how tired you get from a spell.
However, I'd like to say that's perfectly alright as long as there is a certain consistency to the generation of the keywords and the general enforcement by the GM.

Maybe one could defer with the mechanics to the last stage.

In most games it's like this: You cast a spell which makes you tired which in the end will give us a modifier to hand-to-hand attacks. How big is it?

In many games we have something equivalent to:
1. Quantify the tiredness -> "it's tiredness level 4"
2. Translate tiredness to fight modifier -> "tiredness level 4 = modifier -2.3"
3. Apply modifier to attackroll.

What if we could think of it like this instead:
"I have disadvantages for "recently cast a powerful spell" and then I count that together for other disadvantages like "wounded in the thigh" to get an estimation of the disadvantage, let's say it's moderately disadvantaged (whatever that means)"

---

Basically what I think I am suggesting is to have a big hazy area mainly covered by soliloquy to which you interface with hard mechanics. But it's not pure soliloquy, it's governed by certain guidelines. The point is that you don't plug in any numbers until you actually come to the hard mechanics.

Now how is that different from free-forming? Well, in the sense that the free-form part is actually goverened by rules, although more of "sense of magnitude" rules than detailed numbers.

Tell me if I'm not making sense.
Logged

formerly Pale Fire
[Yggdrasil (in progress) | The Evil (v1.2)]
Ranked #1005 in meaningful posts
Indie-Netgaming member
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2002, 05:30:24 AM »

My response to this made more sense in the other thread. To summarize here, no system is no system. Saying that a term counts as a mechanical guideline is non-sensical. The GM will have to make subjective decisions, and that will invalidate the arbitrariness of the rules.

Mike
Logged

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

Posts: 822


« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2002, 09:35:47 AM »

If I seem confused then you have exactly the right impression of what I am in regards to these rules.

However, let me take an example of a desired type of mechanic.

Shadowrun (strangely enough) has one. You summon a spirit. Cool. It will stay without until dawn or twilight (or something like that) depending on when you summon it. It gets a few stats (incidentally identical in power to what you summoned it with), and it gets a few magical powers depending on what type of spirit it is. Now the spirit can take any form (I think the GM decides), it can be invisible and it will obey "success degree # of commands" from the mage. The amount of STUFF you can do with a spirit is amazing if you are a creative person. It's basically like handing you a free improv magic system. Sure it has limitations in time and place, but beyond that... hey the sky is the limit.

The input in this case is only a) type of spirit b) power.

I was thinking of something along those lines for the Old Forest. You could have "characteristic" and "legend" the former could be say "good", "evil", "mysterious", "dangerous", "weird" and so on - basically describing what actions it would take. Then the legend which is kind of the power level you can expect. Something like "harmless", "scary", "dangerous" (oops duplication), "legendary", "powerful" (not in any particular order)

These would be game system defined stuff, so a "legendary evil" Old Forest would be mean death to all except heroes which are near legendary themselves. It lives on upstart heroes in other words.

A "dangerous powerful" Old Forest would not necessarily try to kill the characters, but might occasionally, otherwise it would just lead them astray and stuff like that.

These keywords would work like guides for the extent for the powers of the forest, like its "Pathlessness" and "Energy-sapping".

But like I say I'm only half way conceptualizing this. I'd love to be directed to some games which has something like this. And Mike about Hero Wars: I'd love to play it, but it feels stupid when Hero Quest is to come out "soon" although now the rumour is that it's not that soon after all. However, the point still stands: I'd like to buy it and read up on it.

Have I made it clear why I want this kind of system by the way?
Logged

formerly Pale Fire
[Yggdrasil (in progress) | The Evil (v1.2)]
Ranked #1005 in meaningful posts
Indie-Netgaming member
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2002, 11:18:03 AM »

Quote from: Pale Fire
Have I made it clear why I want this kind of system by the way?


No.

Tell me in ten words or less.

And while you're at it, tell me why youwant to go with this sort of system for just magic, and not the entire game.

Mike
Logged

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

Posts: 2807


« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2002, 04:04:37 PM »

I like this a lot - good point there about shadowrun spirits and so forth being almost a magic system unto themselves.  I like this idea becuase it allows the establishment of setting as an active entity.  I also liked the point about the GM invoking keywords they have improvised, but have a concern.  Without learning shorthand, won't the number of potential datapoints to record get overwhelming?
Logged

Impeach the bomber boys:
www.impeachblair.org
www.impeachbush.org

"He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast."
- Leonardo da Vinci
Christoffer Lernö
Member

Posts: 822


« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2002, 11:23:37 PM »

Mike, about the "why": a formal magic system would be too big and unwieldy (without adding anything to the game enjoyment but rather reduce the sense of wonder)

Why not for everything: Because at first glance it should look like a traditional (sim style) game. (so I put those things in the parts which are absorbed last, the non-essentials for playing)

If it would be ok for the whole game, why not play HW?
Logged

formerly Pale Fire
[Yggdrasil (in progress) | The Evil (v1.2)]
Ranked #1005 in meaningful posts
Indie-Netgaming member
Christoffer Lernö
Member

Posts: 822


« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2002, 11:25:58 PM »

Quote from: contra
Without learning shorthand, won't the number of potential datapoints to record get overwhelming?

I'm not sure what you mean? Could you use some clearer metaphore? Maybe I should clarify that I don't have clear framework, just some ideas. I'm not actually 100% it's possible to make it work so all of it is theoretical right now.
Logged

formerly Pale Fire
[Yggdrasil (in progress) | The Evil (v1.2)]
Ranked #1005 in meaningful posts
Indie-Netgaming member
contracycle
Member

Posts: 2807


« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2002, 06:45:58 AM »

Well, the GM will do a fair bit ofd describing, and if they are imposing wounds and stuff by describing them and tasking these descriptions as keywords, then everything else they say might be seen to carry the same weight, and any description given to anything at any time might be called by a player as justification for something.  This might set up a dynamic based on remembering who said what which might get burdonesome on its own.
Logged

Impeach the bomber boys:
www.impeachblair.org
www.impeachbush.org

"He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast."
- Leonardo da Vinci
Christoffer Lernö
Member

Posts: 822


« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2002, 09:42:50 AM »

Ok I understand what you mean contra.
Well, it can't be allowed to go that far of course. There has to be some supportive structure to make all of this flow nicely and not create insane amounts of book-keeping. Preferably there should be none.
Logged

formerly Pale Fire
[Yggdrasil (in progress) | The Evil (v1.2)]
Ranked #1005 in meaningful posts
Indie-Netgaming member
Epidiah
Member

Posts: 10


« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2002, 10:16:13 AM »

A few years ago some friends and I developed a game that uses something very similar to this as its core mechanic. The character sheets are nothing more than questionnaires and anytime something happens to a character, such as an injury, it is recorded on the sheet. Normally games take a qualitative account, translate it into numbers, feed those numbers through a process to get another number, and then translate that number into a qualitative result. It is just as easy to skip the numbers altogether, as we did in our game, and just work with the qualitative accounts. Technically you will most likely still use numbers, but not ones specifically designed to represent something you already have represented.

In practice, the game works quite well, even with strangers playing (we have been running it at GenCon and a few other conventions in the midwest for the past two years). Though I have to admit, only those who have had plenty of experience with the game run it. During the game, there is some give and take between those playing characters and the person running it, but that is part of how it works. For instance, if a character attempts to creep up behind a guard and knock him out, the person running the game may forget that this particular character has experience knocking people out when he or she sets the difficulty. At that point, the character’s player would most likely point out the omission. As long as that is accounted for in the rules it should work.
Logged
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2002, 10:29:44 AM »

Hi Epidah,

We're all familiar with "systemless" play.

What I've been saying to Christoff is that if he want's to play systemless he should just play systemless. But what he seems to want is system for everything but magic, and to go systemless with magic (although now I'm not entirely sure). This I feel is a mistake. Mixing the two will cause all sorts of problems.

Mike
Logged

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

Posts: 10


« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2002, 10:36:45 AM »

I may be a bit confused about what the definition of “systemless,” but I don’t think our particular game would qualify. It has a system that includes all the basic rules found in most role-playing systems, such as a character generation and task resolution systems. It just doesn’t bother with numbers or levels.

I’ll try to write up a quick explanation of the system and post it in its own thread so I don’t have to be so vague.
Logged
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2002, 11:00:41 AM »

Quote from: Epidiah
I’ll try to write up a quick explanation of the system and post it in its own thread so I don’t have to be so vague.


No need. You seem to be put off or confused by my use of the term systemless. But by "systemless" I mean exactly what you said, numbers, and levels, and all that stuff. The translation back and forth that you mention.

For an example of a "system" like what you describe. See Andrew Martin's work here on the Forge.

Again, we've seen this before, it's not a new thing to us. We agree it's a fine way to play if that's what you want, and we know it works just fine. The only question in this thread is whether or not Christoff wants to have any "mechanics" or rules to do that back and forth translation in his design (or for the magic, specifically).

Mike
Logged

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

Posts: 10


« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2002, 11:21:05 AM »

I see, it was in fact systemless that threw me off.
Logged
Andrew Martin
Member

Posts: 785


« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2002, 07:57:06 PM »

Quote from: Mike Holmes
For an example of a "system" like what you describe. See Andrew Martin's work here on the Forge.


Or on my site. Though it's a little out of date as I've had various little epiphanies on this forum and RPG.net forums, and haven't yet updated my site. It's in the Accord section.
Logged

Andrew Martin
Pages: [1] 2
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!