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Vanilla and Pervy [thread #4 of the Five]

Started by Ron Edwards, November 19, 2002, 07:47:33 PM

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Quote from: Mike Holmes
Quote from: Ron Edwards
Mike, man, you're jumpin' the gun. No one said anything about a massive move toward Vanilla design in order to reach a wider market.

Nor did I say such a thing. I am worried about this one particular designer who seems to be moving in that direction, and any others that may be doing so before seeing thread #5. I'm pre-empting it by saying, staying Pervy is a cool option, IMO!


yeah, but... as Ron said and I said, some things in a game can be pervy while the rest may be more vanilla.

there are a couple features of Co9C that are and will remain rather pervy in comparison to other games:

[*] the resolution mechanic. it's freakin' numerology; not the most vanilla of game mechanics. I've greatly simplified the numerology by concentrating on initials instead of entire names, but it's still computing a "target number" using numerology. and instead of "roll under" or "roll over" or "spend points", you match target numbers to gain a success. this is pretty exotic.
[*] character advancement. although character advancement is very simple in Co9C, it's done entirely without experience points or other such earnable resources. you advance your character by "getting more stuff", although some of that "stuff" is pretty abstract (motifs)... and you advance by making resolution rolls during a scene; this is not just a side effect (like BRP/CoC/Stormbringer advancement,) this is the actual goal of the scene. this is pretty pervy compared to "normal" rpgs, especially when tied into the resolution mechanic: "getting more stuff" gives you more numerological target numbers to match, thus improving your chances of success.
[*] secondary characteristics. the fact that Co9C comes up with one unusual characteristic, the Motif, and then generalizes this to describe Allies, Tools, and (soon) Enemies and Jobs gives the whole game a rather weird feel. again, it simplifies the rules, but I think it does so in a pervy way when compared to "normal" rpgs. the only game that seems even vaguely similar is Sorcerer, where the main way to "improve" your character is to bind more demons. the two games approach this differently, of course; Co9C puts more emphasis on character improvement, and Motifs are not demons because they aren't relationships, they are "property".

and, you will notice, that the primary change I am discussing in the other thread is to take the character sheet, with its list of Motifs, Tools, Allies, and other secondary characteristics sorted according to numerological value, and use this as a chart. games that generate events or descriptions using random numbers cross-referenced on a chart seem rather pervy to me, and it was specifically mentioned in this thread as rather pervy to other people; what I am proposing is cross-referencing random numbers against a chart built in play.

that's incredibly pervy.

naturally, this thread isn't about Co9C, but I think this discussion of its perviness helps to illustrate the thoughts in this thread in a concrete manner. a game simply isn't "pervy" or "vanilla" as a whole; parts of a game can be more pervy or more vanilla when compared to identical parts in another game. plus, because the "dominant" game systems are so astoundingly baroque in their rules, suggesting a simpler system can seem pervy in comparison simply because the rules are so different.
John Laviolette
(aka Talysman the Ur-Beatle)
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Mike Holmes

Quotestill, the debates about vanilla vs. pervy have affected Co9C, in that I am thinking about making it more vanilla in other ways.
This is what I was objecting to. I was thinking that you might, for instance, drop the numerology simply to make the game less Pervy. It sounded to me like you were going to strip as much pervyess as possible (with the exception of the specific items you mentioned). That woul be tragic.

As long as you are keeping the pertinently pervy stuff, I'm satisfied. That's all I was worried about. I completely agree that you don't need to make it more Pervy than it is, or find new areas to make pervy. I'm simply suggestion you stick with what you have. A game with very Pervy art elements.

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Ron Edwards

Hi John and Mike,

Please take all discussion of the game in question to a thread of its own.

This thread has also spawned enough to be closed in general. Thanks everyone.