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Let's make a game!

Started by Mike Holmes, October 09, 2002, 10:07:18 PM

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Quote from: Mark D. Eddy
I agree that Mike's cycle is a good one. Here are a few opportunities/perils that could face a medeval monestary:

War: Do the monks take the part of one side or the other? Are they known for healing or some other ability? Can a reluctant warrior safely become a monk to escape military service?

Famine: Are the monestary's granaries full or empty? Is there wealth to buy food? Do the monks share what they have, or keep it to keep themselves alive?

Plague: Do the monks try to help the affilcted, or lock them out so that the spiritual work may continue? Is there a chance to discover a cure?

Religious Fervor: Is this going to strengthen or weaken the monestary? Do the monks have something that others want, or is their way of life being rejected?

Supernatural/Spiritual Attacks: We could do this, or not. Can a monk meditating with a group of other monks fend off strange evils that can only be opposed by a faithful heart?

Conflict with Secular Authority: See Henry VIII vs. the English monestaries for a version of this.

Conflict with Spiritual/Religous Authority: See Francis of Assisi vs. the Benidictine orders for an example.

looks like a good start. I think we have a good handle on the focus of the game now (roll-your-own monastic order, face a crisis that challenges faith). we should probably concentrate on specifiying the details behind the setting choices we have made... which includes running through the possible conflicts, as you have done, so that we can figure out how they work and see if we can describe how they should work in the rudimentary game mechanics we have already described.

lemme try to restate those mechanics, just so we have the different ideas in one place: characters have a number of pairs of stats representing personal or religious conflicts, such as Compassion/Violence. they also have a Worldly/Spiritual stat pair for a specific scope (personal level, monastic level, village level). the negative stat in any pair provides short-term ability boosts and is easy to increase, but it has a detrimental long-term effect of some kind. the positive stat provides some bonus as well, but it is hard to improve; improvement requires lowering the negative stat.

here's a side issue on the supernatural: I would like to see this game have "indefinite supernatural" effects: not obvious manifestations, just that little bonus that spiritual improvement provides. we could say that the stat pairs affect only the monk's own abilities, except for worldly/spiritual: maybe monks can make a spiritual roll opposed by worldly in order to cause a lucky event to happen in accord with the religion's spiritual values.

I don't want to see physical manifestations of demons in this game, simply because it's been done so many times before. however, sociopathic behavior explained as demonic possession (curable with one of those spiritual vs. worldly rolls) might not be too far from where I think the concept is leading us.
John Laviolette
(aka Talysman the Ur-Beatle)
rpg projects:

Mark D. Eddy

And here are some stat pairs that can explicitly go with each of the challenges I came up with above:

War: Peace/Violence
Famine: Generosity/Selfishness
Plague: Compassion/Hard-heartedness
Religious Fervor: Zealousness/Indifference
Supernatural Events: Faithfulness/Worldliness
w/Secular Authority: Submission/Intolerance
w/Religious Authority: Poverty/Wealth

How do these look to you?
Mark Eddy
Chemist, Monotheist, History buff

"The valiant man may survive
if wyrd is not against him."

Mike Holmes

Shaping up.

OK, I think we've gotten beyond the Premise stage, and we're looking at execution. FWIW, what we've got seems decidedly Narrativist to me so far. That is, I'm seeing the effectivenesses of the stat-pairs as bing more metagame than a simulation of anything. Does anybody have a different vision?

The next step would be for some brave soul to write up an outline of the game. So that we can all see what sort of things we've agreed on together. Then we can modify the outline afterwards. Once the outline is set, then we can pull it together, fleshing out any holes we find.

Make sense? Who's volunteering (this is always the hard part)?

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Ron Edwards

Hi there,

I'm thinkin' this is also the best time to close this thread and have the outline-stage begin with a new thread. The new thread title, whatever it is, should begin with something like, "[Group game design]" or similar.


Emily Care

I suggest we call the game "Enlightenment" and start a group design thread under that title.

Koti ei ole koti ilman saunaa.

Black & Green Games