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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 92 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: More Decay info...  (Read 3749 times)
Spooky Fanboy
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Posts: 585


« on: March 11, 2003, 07:56:55 PM »

RE: Decay

Since I've read the thread again, and I still can't figure out quite what it's all about, could you, now that it's near completion, give us an expanded idea what it's all about?

I remember dead-but-animate female prostitutes, mutant men, regular humans, and the sense that they were spending their lives in some sort of VR-dreamworld, but nothing that held this together. Could you pour some water on the setting and make it expand, please?

I only ask because, if I try to explain this to other people, I want to not sound like I've just come off of a three-day cold medicine binge. I want them to believe the game exists, that it's not something I hallucinated.
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Jared A. Sorensen
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« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2003, 05:42:09 AM »

I split this topic from the Cronenberg one...

I've been working on what I hope to be the third and final iteration of the Decay system (with much thanks to industry luminary Mike Mearls).

In Forge terms, it's a Narrativist system with a Fortune/Karma system (the player gets to decide what to use depending on resources/circumstances).

Resolution is accomplished using either a diceless method OR by rolling a die. If the die version is selected, it gives you a Yes/No answer to the "Well, did I do it?" If the karma version is selected, it resolves conflict and changes the character, the story and the setting (!).

The three character types remain the same: wandering warrior, grotesquely strong mutant or beautiful zombie girl (in a funny bit of happenstance, these three types kinda map onto the main characters in Thundarr the Barbarian: wild sword guy, strong beast guy and sexy magic chick). There are three main attributes (for the time being they're called Strength, Guile and Allure). Naturally, each character type exceeds at one attribute and the two non-human types are deficient in another attribute.

Characters also have a "trade" which is how they interact with "normal" human society. There are three trades for each character type: two with biases toward Dream or Decay, the third with no bias at all.*

Which brings me to the crux of the game: Dream and Decay. Mearls pointed it out to me (I wrote the damn thing and didn't realize what I had done, per usual): Dream is humanity's link to the distant past. Decay represents the possible dark fate of mankind. As characters gain and spend Dream and Decay, they gain strength but may also move closer to personal ruin. And when their "Destiny" shifts, the balance of the entire game shifts as well. The game uses a kind of metric to gauge the Destiny of mankind it responds directly to player decisions. Also, GM's can use this metric on a smaller scale, to represent changes in their game. So if an NPC is introduced, then that NPC might die of some horrible illness if the world sinks too much into Decay. Or that NPC might grow to become a leader of men if Dream is fostered.

The setting is best described as far-future post-apocalyptic. The genre? I'll take a stab at it and say horror/fantasy (strong ties to sword & sorcery and western motiffs with some sci-fi flavor to distance it from the here and now). Mutants, the undead and much strangeness...with pockets of humanity that are either embracing Decay or fighting for the Dream.

So there ya go.

- J

*BTW, the "zombie pros" thing was a kind of shorthand, really. The "Dolls" (as they are called) have one trade called "geishas" -- more entertainers and companions than prostitutes (if you've seen the Firefly TV series, they're similar to Guild Companions).
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jared a. sorensen / www.memento-mori.com
Spooky Fanboy
Member

Posts: 585


« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2003, 12:21:55 PM »

So, in a fashion similar to Underground, the characters have a chance to impact society directly through their actions. There's even a mechanic for it. Neat!

Curious: any "crunchy bits": psionics, magic, etc.? or is the setting weird enough as it is?
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Jared A. Sorensen
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Posts: 1463

Darksided


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« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2003, 12:42:38 PM »

Quote from: Spooky Fanboy
So, in a fashion similar to Underground, the characters have a chance to impact society directly through their actions. There's even a mechanic for it. Neat!

Curious: any "crunchy bits": psionics, magic, etc.? or is the setting weird enough as it is?


Magic, no. Psionics, not really. Dolls and Ferrants have unique abilities but there is no magic in the world (in the D&D sense).
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jared a. sorensen / www.memento-mori.com
Spooky Fanboy
Member

Posts: 585


« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2003, 02:06:04 PM »

Pray tell, what are these "unique abilities"?

See, I'm a sucker for crunchy bits. I love characters who can do things that can't be done in the work-a-day world beyond the gaming table. Why would I want to ever play a normal human wanderer, when I can play a mutant with unique abilities or a zombie chick with weird abilities? What's the drawback?
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Proudly having no idea what he's doing since 1970!
Jared A. Sorensen
Member

Posts: 1463

Darksided


WWW
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2003, 05:05:40 PM »

Quote from: Spooky Fanboy
Pray tell, what are these "unique abilities"?

See, I'm a sucker for crunchy bits. I love characters who can do things that can't be done in the work-a-day world beyond the gaming table. Why would I want to ever play a normal human wanderer, when I can play a mutant with unique abilities or a zombie chick with weird abilities? What's the drawback?


One mistake would be (at this early juncture) to qualify the human character type (the Ronin) as "normal." They're not. In fact, you cannot play a normal human character in Decay. I don't understand what "crunchy" means except when used to describe, say, cereal. Suffice it to say that Ronin, Dolls and Ferrants are all going to have interesting abilities.

And that's all the details I have for ya right now.

- J
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jared a. sorensen / www.memento-mori.com
Spooky Fanboy
Member

Posts: 585


« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2003, 06:21:57 PM »

"Crunchy bits:" when applied to RPGs, it means magic, psionics, special effects, superpowers, anything that a normal human as we in the real world know them cannot do.
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