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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 87 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Universal RPG  (Read 4685 times)
Valamir
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Posts: 5574


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« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2003, 07:24:06 PM »

Jam, it might help if you could indicate the universal systems that you've tried and rejected.  As examples have you looked at Risus, the Window, Fudge, or Tri-Stat.  All of them have certain pros and cons to them, all are pretty much widely available and free (well Tri Stat cost $1 for the core rules if they're still doing that promotion).

It would help to know what specifically in those systems failed your criteria.  On the other hand, if you're not familiar with any of those, it may behoove you to investigate them before going through alot of effort to reinvent the wheel.
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Luke
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« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2003, 07:52:39 PM »

you've just come up with a fair approximation of WEG's Star Wars system. It was a good system, so don't fret.

However, I think you are in danger of losing sight of your goal. The direction you are heading in now is one of lists and lists of Traits and Gimmicks that are appropriate to only one setting and are not universal at all.

If you want true universality -- applicable to any setting or genre -- you need to stay very broad. If I'd my druthers (and I will someday) I would devise ten or so "compentencies" to simply describe the human condition -- a place somewhere between skill and stat. And just use these competencies to resolve all conflicts.

Anyway, I recommend taking a look at Sorcerer if you haven't. That system is pretty "universal" if I remember. Also, EABA/Timelords is definitely universal. Do a little research into what else is out there so you can figure out exactly what problems you want to solve.

-Luke
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #17 on: August 27, 2003, 10:01:30 AM »

Quote from: abzu
you've just come up with a fair approximation of WEG's Star Wars system. It was a good system, so don't fret.


Published generically as the D6 system long before D20.

Also, Ralph's right about generic systems being available for free. I think that there's a quickstart that cover the basics that's free for Action! And, of course, there's the free GURPS Lite. Also, the free version of Story Engine called Story Bones. Active Exploits, a diceless generic game is, IIRC, also has free core rules.

There are doubtless more that I'm not thinking of right now.

Mike
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jammmer81
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Posts: 20


« Reply #18 on: August 27, 2003, 10:04:44 AM »

Quote from: abzu
The direction you are heading in now is one of lists and lists of Traits and Gimmicks that are appropriate to only one setting and are not universal at all.


Those were just examples. I have no intention of trying to make some rediculously long list of traits and gimmicks/backgrounds. My intention is more like concept-based character creation, taking a player's description of his or character's concept to figure out what a character can conceivably do. They do that in "The Mirror" and I thought that was kinda cool.

Quote from: abzu
Do a little research into what else is out there so you can figure out exactly what problems you want to solve.


When I started out on this project, It wasn't because of problems I had with other systems except maybe the fact that I hate Tables and I didn't want to use someone else's systems (a lot of reading and too much to remember and lack of creative freedom). Rather, I just wanted my own system so that I would have full ownership of any game I created with it. Call me greeady, but that's pretty much it.
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jammmer81
Member

Posts: 20


« Reply #19 on: August 27, 2003, 10:10:03 AM »

Quote from: abzu
If you want true universality -- applicable to any setting or genre -- you need to stay very broad. If I'd my druthers (and I will someday) I would devise ten or so "compentencies" to simply describe the human condition -- a place somewhere between skill and stat. And just use these competencies to resolve all conflicts.


What exactly do you mean by "competencies"? Could you elaborate?
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Valamir
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« Reply #20 on: August 27, 2003, 11:03:14 AM »

Quote
Rather, I just wanted my own system so that I would have full ownership of any game I created with it. Call me greeady, but that's pretty much it.


Hey, interesting you bring this up, more so because The Forge is all about creator ownership.

But this seemingly simple statement implies a whole lot.  For instance.  If you are creating a house system because
Quote
I didn't want to use someone else's systems (a lot of reading and too much to remember and lack of creative freedom)
then the only people it has to impress are you and your friends.  At this point, ownership becomes pretty irrelevant because no one cares what you do or don't do with a set of home brew rules.

BUT, the idea of ownership only has value when one starts to talk about publishing the rules (free, for sale, in print, whatever).  At that point you now have other people to impress.  Your job (so to speak) becomes convincing other people that your game is worth their time to check out and hopefully even play.  If that isn't your goal, then again we're back to ownership not mattering.

Now you need a hook.  You need a powerful statement of "why you want to play my game".  You need a powerful answer to the question "I guess your game's ok, but why would I use it instead of Fudge?"  The "creative freedom, and not wanting tables, and not wanting to have to read a bunch of stuff" is fine for a reason for you and your own group.  But its insufficient a reason to convince many others.

So what I'm getting to is this.  If you're thinking about ownership issues you must be thinking about publishing (because otherwise ownership is irrelevant).  If you're thinking about publishing you must be interested in getting your game in front of people other than you and your friends.  If you're going to try and get other people interested in your game you're going to need a reason why they should choose your game over any of the games they already have, or any of the other games already available.

If you can't think of that reason...you probably aren't at the point of publishing.  IMO...finding that reason...that key thing that would make me pass on Fudge and Risus to play your game instead...should be your #1 priority.  Finding that reason is what is going to make your game more than a set of homebrew rules...cuz everybody's got their own set of homebrew rules already.
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jammmer81
Member

Posts: 20


« Reply #21 on: August 27, 2003, 11:45:30 AM »

Quote from: Valamir
Now you need a hook.  You need a powerful statement of "why you want to play my game".  You need a powerful answer to the question "I guess your game's ok, but why would I use it instead of Fudge?"  The "creative freedom, and not wanting tables, and not wanting to have to read a bunch of stuff" is fine for a reason for you and your own group.  But its insufficient a reason to convince many others.

If you can't think of that reason...you probably aren't at the point of publishing.  IMO...finding that reason...that key thing that would make me pass on Fudge and Risus to play your game instead...should be your #1 priority.  Finding that reason is what is going to make your game more than a set of homebrew rules...cuz everybody's got their own set of homebrew rules already.


You raise an excellent point. That is a very difficult thing to come up with. I'll have to give it some serious thought. Thanks for the heads up.
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jammmer81
Member

Posts: 20


« Reply #22 on: August 27, 2003, 01:22:23 PM »

I've come up with a different task resolution method. It's more universal, or at least I think it is. Tell me what you think.

Attributes
Physical, Mental, Social

Primary = 6d6
Secondary = 4d6
Tertiary = 2d6

Task Resolution
Roll Attribute dice. Keep all rolls that equal or exceed the target number (4 for easy tasks, 5 for moderate tasks, 6 for difficult tasks). The default required number of successes is 1, but rolling more successes improves the result. 1 success = minor success (you just scrape by), 2 successes = moderate success (you do a good job), 3 successes = major success (you pass with flying colors). However, some tasks may require that you do more than just scrape by.

I also want to further address the issue of what I want my system to be.

I love action!

Action Adventure is the most common type of campaign I will be running with my system. I believe you could run an action adventure campaign in any setting. Therefore what I'm looking for is a universal action adventure roleplaying system.
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Andrew Martin
Member

Posts: 785


« Reply #23 on: August 28, 2003, 01:13:20 AM »

Quote from: jammmer81
I also want to further address the issue of what I want my system to be.

I love action!

Action Adventure is the most common type of campaign I will be running with my system. I believe you could run an action adventure campaign in any setting. Therefore what I'm looking for is a universal action adventure roleplaying system.


That's a great step!

Now imagine how the players (and their characters) behave in a typical game session using your game system once it's perfect. Try to describe their behaviour without reference to your rules as they exist now, and then you will have a goal to work towards in designing your rule system. The idea is that your rule system should encourage and reward that behaviour in the players.
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Andrew Martin
jammmer81
Member

Posts: 20


« Reply #24 on: August 31, 2003, 01:18:15 PM »

I made up three characters to use in various scenarios to illustrate how I imagine Eternal Struggle being played.

Caterina Dumont is a beautiful and athletic 21 year old Russian Italian Cat Burglar who prefers to use her nickname, Cat. Cat has High Fitness (5d6), Exceptional Coordination (6d6), Average Intelligence (3d6), Above Average Perception (4d6), and Exceptional Guile (6d6). Cat is skilled at breaking and entering and, although she prefers to avoid combat, she is quite capable of defending herself with a pair of light pistols that inflict Below Average damage (2d6) at a range of 10 meters per Perception die. Cat wears black leather pants and boots, a white cotton halter top and a black leather jacket which hides two concealed carry holsters at the small of her back.

Orlando Ortega is a charismatic 23 year old Latino Dilettante. Orlando has Average Fitness (3d6), High Coordination (5d6), Exceptional Intelligence (6d6), High Perception (5d6), and High Guile (5d6). Orlando uses Ortega money on everything a rich person could ever want and to pay for his obsession with computers and electronics. Orlando knows that every dilettante must always be prepared to defend themselves and so has armed himself with a gold-plated heavy pistol that inflicts Above Average damage (4d6) at a range of 10 meters per Perception die. Max wears a white Armani suit with a red shirt and a concealed carry shoulder holster in which he carries his gun.
 
Max, just Max, is a big, strong, and intimidating 35 year old African American Bodyguard in the employ of the Ortega family. Max has Exceptional Fitness (6d6), Above Average Coordination (4d6), Low Intelligence (1d6), Average Perception (3d6), and Exceptional Guile (6d6). Max’s weapon of choice is a pair of pump shotguns that inflict High damage (5d6) at a range of 20 meters per Perception die. Max wears a professional black suit and leather long coat under which his weapons are concealed.

I'll be using a modern setting.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what kinds of situations these characters could find themselves in?

I will run the characters through some of your suggested scenarios in order to show you how a game session might go.
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