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Author Topic: Avatar-13  (Read 1258 times)
Matt Snyder
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« on: February 05, 2003, 06:17:14 PM »

I've been working on a new game design (in addition to working on Nine Worlds! Phew!). After some discussion about character creaiton in the Indie Game Design forum, I decided to go ahead and post an early version of the rules.

Click here to download Avatar-13 playtest version 1. (PDF file, 736k)

Please understand this is a very early version of the game, which is a cyberpunk approach in the tradition of William Gibson, as well as visually exciting films like Bladerunner and The Matrix. There are bound to be lots of typos and the like. I'm putting it out there to get some good feedback, and hopefully even encourage some playtesting.

Feel free to post questions and comments here, or contact me with a private message or email: matt@chimera.info
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Matt Snyder
www.chimera.info

"The future ain't what it used to be."
--Yogi Berra
Clinton R. Nixon
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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2003, 08:56:42 PM »

Matt,

First, this is rad. I totally dig the system, and think the idea of wagering for narration statements works great for the source literature.

The one thing I noticed is that attention might need to be paid to when the announcement of wagered dice happens. If you're in a situation where Rank is a factor and you state you're going to wager 4 dice out of 9, someone can easily scoop you with 8 dice by not wagering any.
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Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
Matt Snyder
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« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2003, 01:03:37 PM »

I posted an Avatar-13 actual play item in, well, the Actual Play forum here on the Forge. You'll definitely want to check it out.

Oh, and man! Clinton, I totally forgot to reply to you. First, I'm glad you think it's rad! Second, you're absolutely right about wagering bidding wars. That's an issue I did not cover in the playtest post yet, and it's something that came up in play. I'll have to add to that, and definitely clarify in the game once I begin re-writing.
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Matt Snyder
www.chimera.info

"The future ain't what it used to be."
--Yogi Berra
Balbinus
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Posts: 290


« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2003, 07:01:37 AM »

Hi Matt,

I note that stats range between 0 and 6 while skills range only between 0 and 4.  Howcome out of interest?

Would Surveillance be a new skill?  I mean using bugs, telescopes and so on to spy on people.  What about Photography?  I'm struggling a little presently with how to treat these.  Of course, in part this is due to the incompleness of the rules at this stage.

Are the Alpha, Beta etc Augmentation descriptions pure metagame language or would characters use them too?  If the latter, how do characters distinguish between them given that the distinctions relate to metagame aspects of play?

Also, on page 6 under the heading Creating Augmentations you describe Alpha, Gamma and Delta Augmentations in the first paragraph but omit Beta Augmentations.
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AKA max
Matt Snyder
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« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2003, 08:40:38 AM »

Quote

I note that stats range between 0 and 6 while skills range only between 0 and 4.  Howcome out of interest?


Basically, it was an attempt to "weigh" the value of 2 or 3 levels to build dice pools. Since attributes are the "default" and used in pretty much all conflicts, I gave them the most range, followed by skills, and finally by 'wares and Traits.

Another reason was that I was loosely thinking of skills at the time in terms of how they're labeled: Amatuer, Professional, Expert Elite.

In practical terms, I'm finding that more dice is better, and that such arbitrary limits just limit fun in play. In my still-ongoing "playtest" campaign, we're finding that dice pools just aren't quite big enough to go in guns blazin' (sometimes, but not always, literally!). I've been thinking of a couple ways to do this. One is simply increase the limits for attributes and skills, perhaps to 1-10 for attributes and 1-6 or even 1-10 also for skills. Maybe increasing the limit on skills to 1-6 range would work sufficiently.  

Quote

Would Surveillance be a new skill?  I mean using bugs, telescopes and so on to spy on people.  What about Photography?  I'm struggling a little presently with how to treat these.  Of course, in part this is due to the incompleness of the rules at this stage.


First off, sorry on the incompleteness and the fact that the playtest rules still haven't been revised according to my new mechanic. I'll get to it....

Second, Surveilance need not be a new skill. You could simply use Security. However, as a skill on its own, it would be entirely appropriate.

Photography would be ideal as a Profession specialty.

Quote

Are the Alpha, Beta etc Augmentation descriptions pure metagame language or would characters use them too?  If the latter, how do characters distinguish between them given that the distinctions relate to metagame aspects of play?


Oh, sure, call me on my bluff. A couple of folks have pointed out flaws in my naming scheme for Augmentations, and rightly so. I intended them as a sort of metagame language that added a bit of color to the game. As written, they're sorta clunky and confusing.

Basically, Beta class Augs. are those that increase some specific skill or small range of skills.

The classifications are meant to indicate character effectiveness, not in-game classification. Basically, they naming scheme was meant to indicate how frequently (or in what way) the Augs. added to your Action Pools (or some other benefit). The whole thing was my attempt to make a more abstract system that would encourage players to get creative in making funky Augmentaitons for their characters, rather than the same old stuff. For the players in my group, this worked pretty well -- they had some really neato ideas, and even better ideas for backstory on how they got the Augs.

Quote

Also, on page 6 under the heading Creating Augmentations you describe Alpha, Gamma and Delta Augmentations in the first paragraph but omit Beta Augmentations.


So I do -- editorial accident. Thanks for noting that.

And, thanks very much for taking time to check this out! If you would like some more details on the mechanics revisions, here goes the Cliff's Notes version:

Rather than rolling a "sum" of dice to overcome a target number, you roll your Action Pool against another character's pool or a GM-rolled pool of varying difficulty (pools of 1-3 would be very easy, 4-6 moderate, and 7-10+ being difficult, rougly speaking).

You compare dice -- the object is to have the highest single die. Ties are "discarded" until someone has a single die higher than an opposing pool's highest die. This is very much like the Sorcerer mechanic, but you do nothing beyond comparing "highest" die. Other dice do not determine "successes" as they do in Sorcerer. "Success" are gained by wagering.

You still build the Action Pool just as you do in the playtest.

Wagering is mostly the same. There are no longer wagers for advanced skills or counter actions. Also, assist actions aren't limited to keeping one die. You can assist and wager all your dice (basically throwing your wagered dice into the ally's own Action Pool).

Hope this helps!
-Matt
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Matt Snyder
www.chimera.info

"The future ain't what it used to be."
--Yogi Berra
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